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Ex  Libris 
C.  K.  OGDEN 



J.  WRIGHT,  Printer, 
No.  38,  St.  John's  Square,  Clerkcmcell. 







VOL.  II. 






},  NUNN  ;  J.  WALKER  ;  R.  LEA  J 




T  rv 





THIS  obstinate  distemper  which  hangs  upon  you 
greatly  alarms  me ;  and  though  I  know  how  ex- 
tremely temperate  you  are,  yet  I  arn  afraid  your 
disease  should  get  the  better  of  your  moderation. 
Let  me  entreat  you,  then,  to  resist  it  with  a  de- 
termined abstemiousness  :  a  remedy,  be  assured, 
of  all  others  the  most  laudable,  as  well  as  the  most 
salutary.  There  is  nothing  impracticable  in  what 
I  recommend  ;  it  is  a  rule,  at  least,  which  I  always 
enjoin  my  family  to  observe  with  respect  to  my- 
self. I  tell  them,  should  I  be  attacked  with  any^dis- 
order,  I  hope  that  I  shall  desire  nothing  of  which 
I  ought  either  to  be  ashamed,  or  have  reason 
VOL.  II.  B  to 


to  repent ;  however,  if  my  distemper  should  pre- 
vail over  my  judgment,  I  forbid  them  to  give  me 
any  thing  but  by  the  consent  of  my  physicians; 
and  I  assure  the  people  about  me,  that  I  shall  re- 
sent their  compliance  "with  me  in  things  improper, 
as  much  as  another  man  would  their  refusal.  I 
had  once  a  most  violent  fever ;  when  the  fit  was 
a  little  abated,  and  I  had  been  anointed*,  my 
physician  offered  me  something  to  drink  ;  I  de- 
sired he  would  first  feel  my  pulse,  and  upon  his 
seeming  to  think  the  paroxysm  was  not  quite 
abated,  I  instantly  returned  the  cup,  though  it  was 
just  at  my  lips.  Afterwards,  when  I  was  preparing 
to  go  into  the  bath,  twenty  days  from  the  first 
attack  of  my  illness,  perceiving  the  physicians 
whispering  together,  I  enquired  what  they  were 
saying.  They  replied,  they  were  of  opinion  I 
might  possibly  bathe  with  safety ;  nevertheless, 
that  they  were  not  without  some  suspicion  of  ha- 
zard. What  occasion  then  is  there,  said  I,  of 
bathing  at  all?  And  thus,  with  great  complacency, 
I  gave  up  a  pleasure  1  was  upon  the  point  of  en- 
joying, and  abstained  from  the  bath  with  the  same 
satisfaction  I  was  preparing  to  enter  it.  I  men- 

a  Unction  was  much  esteemed  as  a  remedy  in  certain  cases  by 
the  ancient  physicians.  C«-!MI>,  who  flourished,  it  is  supposed, 
about  Plins's  time,  expre^l)  recommends  it  in  the  remission  of 
acute  distempers:  wtfi  leniierquc  pcrtractari  corpus,  etiam  in 
tcutix  et  recfJitlbus  inurbis  opoi'ltt  ;  in  renissione  tmnen,  Src,.  Ceisi 
med.  «d  Alni«loveen,  p.  88. 


tion  this,  not  only  in  order  to  enforce  my  advice 
by  example,  but  also  that  this  letter  may  be  a  sort 
of  tie  upon  me  to  observe  the  same  resolute  ab- 
stinence for  the  future.  Farewel. 


ARE  you  not  inconsistent  when  you  assure  me 
you  have  no  intermission  from  business,  and  yet, 
express,  at  the  same  time,  an  earnest  desire  to 
see  my  works ;  upon  which  even  the  idle  will 
scarce  bestow  some  of  their  useless  hours  ?  I 
will  not,  then,  break  in  upon  your  occupations 
during  this  summer  season;  but  when  the  re- 
turn of  winter  shall  make  it  probable  that  your 
evenings,  at  least,  may  be  disengaged,  I  will  look 
over  my  trifles  for  something  to  amuse  your  va- 
cant hours.  In  the  mean  while,  I  shall  be  well 
satisfied  if  my  letters  should  not  prove  trouble- 
some, as  I  suspect  they  are,  and  therefore  shorten 

them.     Fare\vel. 


8  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  VIL 



ARE  you  determined,  then,  to  pass  your  whole 
time  between  Lucaniaa  and  Campaniab?  Your 
answer,  I  suppose,  will  be,  that  the  former,  is  your 
native  country,  and  the  latter  that  of  your  wife. 
This,  I  admit,  may  justify  a  long  absence,  but  I 
cannot  allow  it  as  a  reason  for  a  perpetual  one. 
Cut  are  you  resolved,  in  good  earnest,  never  to 
return  to  Rome,  that  theatre  of  honours,  prefer- 
ment, and  amicable  connexions  of  every  sort  ?  Are 
you  obstinately  determined  to  live  your  own  mas- 
ter, to  sleep  as  long  as  you  please,  and  to  rise 
when  you  think  proper  ?  Will  you  never  change 
your  country  garb  for  the  dress  of  the  town,  but 
spend  your  whole  days  unembarrassed  by  our 
crowded  streets  ?  It  is  time,  however,  you  should 
revisit  this  our  scene  of  hurry,  were  it  only  that 
your  rural  pleasures  may  not  grow  languid  by 
uninterrupted  possession  :  appear  at  the  levees  of 
the  great,  that  you  may  enjoy  the  same  honour 
yourself  with  more  satisfaction ;  and  mix  in  our 
crowds,  that  you  may  have  a  keener  relish  for  the 
charms  of  solitude.  But  am  I  not  imprudently 
retarding  the  friend  I  would  recal?  It  is  these 


*  Comprehending  the  Basilicata,  a  province  in  the  kingdom 
of  Naples. 

b  Now  called  Campagna  di  Roma.     See  B.  vi.  let.  ir.  note  b. 


very  circumstances,  perhaps,  that  induce  you, 
every  clay  more  and  more  to  wrap  yourself  up 
in  retirement.  All,  however,  I  wish  to  prevail 
with  you,  is  only  to  intermit,  not  to  renounce, 
the  charms  of  solitude.  If  I  were  to  invite  you 
to  a  feast,  as  I  would  blend  dishes  of  a  poignant 
taste  with  those  of  the  luscious  kind,  in  order  to 
sharpen  the  edge  of  your  palate  by  the  one,  which 
had  been, flattened  by  the  other ;  so  I  now  ad  vise 
you  to  enliven,  sometimes,  the  smooth  pleasures  of 
life,  with  those  of  a  more  active  nature.  Farewel, 


You  have  read,  it  seems,  my  poems,  and  are  de- 
sirous to  know  how  it  happened  that  a  man  of 
my  gravity  (as  you  are  pleased  to  call  me,  though 
in  truth  I  am  only  not  a  trifler)  could  adopt  this 
mode  of  composition.  To  take  the  account,  then, 
a  good  way  back,  I  must  acquaint  you  that  I 
had  always  an  inclination  to  poetry,  insomuch 
that  when  I  was  fourteen  years  of  age,  I  composed 
a  tragedy  in  Greek.  If  you  should  ask  me  what 
sort  of  one?  I  protest  I  don't  know;  all  that  I 
remember  of  it  is,  that  it  was  called  a  tragedy. 
Some  time  afterwards,  in  my  return  from  the  army, 
being  detained  in  the  island  of  Icaria3  by  contrary 


*  An  island  ir,  the  Archipelago,  now  called  Nicaria. 


10  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  VII. 

•winds,  I  vented  my  spleen  against  that  place  in 
some  Latin  elegies.  I  have  since  made  some  at- 
tempts in  the  heroic  kind  ;  but  these  Hendecasyl- 
lables*  are  the  first  I  ever  composed  in  that  mea- 
sure; and  the  following  accident  gave  birth  to 
them.  The  treatise  of  Asinius  Gallus  was  read  to 
ine  one  day  at  Laurentinum,  wherein  he  draws  a 
comparison  between  his  father  and  Cicero ;  and 
cites  an  epigram  of  Tully's  on  his  favourite  Tiro. 
Upon  retiring  to  take  my  afternoon's  nap,  (for 
it  was  summer)  and  not  being  able  to  sleep, 
I  began  to  reflect  that  the  greatest  orators  have 
been  fond  of  poetry,  and  valued  themselves  upon 
it.  I  tried,  therefore,  what  I  could  do  in  this  vr ay ; 
and  though  I  had  long  disused  myself  to  composi- 
tions of  this  nature,  I  struck  out,  in  a  much  shorter 
time  than  I  could  have  imagined,  the  following 
lines  upon  the  subject  which  gave  me  the  first 
hint : 

When  Gallus  I  read,  who  pretends  that  his  sire 
Had  far  more  than  TuUy  poetical  fire, 
The  wisest  of 'men,   I  perceived,  held  it  jit 
To  temper  his  wisdom  with  love  and  with  wit ; 
For  Tully,  grave  Tully,  in  amorous  strains, 
Of  the  frauds  of  his  paramour  Tiro  complains ; 
That, f ail hlcss  to  love,  and  to  pleasure  untrue, 
From  his  promised  embrace  the  arch  wanton  with- 


b  See  B.  iv.  let.  14,  note  a. 


Then  I  said  to  my  heart — why  shouldst  thou  conceal 
The  sweetest  of  passions,    the  love  which  you  feel  ? — 
Yes,  fly,  wanton  Ahise,  and  proclaim  it  around, 
Thy  Pliny  has  loi?d,  and  his  Tiro  has  found ; 
The  coy  one  so  artful,  who  sweetly  denies, 
And  from  the  soft  flame,  but  to  heighten  it,  flics. 

From  this  I  turned  to  elegy,  which  flowed  from 
me  with  the  same  ease;  and  being  thus  drawn  in 
by  the  facility  with  which  the  Muses  yielded  to 
my  addresses,  I  proceeded  to  increase  the  number 
of  my  productions  of  this  kind.  At  my  return 
to  Rome,  I  shewed  my  performances  to  some  of 
my  friends,  who  were  pleased  to  approve  of  them. 
Afterwards,  whenever  I  had  leisure,  and  particu- 
larly when  I  travelled,  I  made  several  other  at- 
tempts in  the  poetical  way.  At  length  I  deter- 
mined, after  the  example  of  many  others,  to  publish 
a  separate  volume  of  these  poems ;  and  I  have  no 
reason  to  repent  of  my  resolution.  They  are  much 
enquired  after,  and  are  in  every  body's  hands  ; 
they  have  even  tempted  the  Greeks  to  learn  our 
language,  who  sing  them  to  their  harps  and  lyres. 
But  will  you  not  imagine  I  begin  to  rave  ?  Re- 
member, however,  poets  have  that  privilege.  The 
truth  is,  lam  not  giving  you  my  own  judgment, 
but  that  of  others,  which,  be  it  right  or  wrong, 
I  am  much  pleased  with  ;  and  have  only  to  wish 
that  posterity  may  be  of  the  same  opinion.-— 





IT  is  incredible  how  impatiently  I  wish  for  your 
return  ;  such  is  the  tenderness  of  my  affection  for 
you,  and  so  unaccustomed  am  I  to  a  separation  ! 
I  lie  awake  the  greatest  part  of  the  night  in  think- 
ing of  you,  and  (to  use  a  very  common,  but  very 
true  expression)  my  feet  carry  me  of  their  own 
accord  to  your  apartment,  at  those  hours  I  used 
to  visit  you ;  but  not  finding  you  there,  I  return 
with  as  much  sorrow  and  disappointment  as  an 
excluded  lover.  The  only  intermission  my  anx- 
iety knows,  is  when  I  am  engaged  at  the  bar, 
and  in  the  causes  of  my  friends.  Judge  then 
how  wretched  must  his  life  be,  who  finds  no  re^ 
pose  but  in  business  ;  no  consolation  but  in  a 
crowd.  Fare  we! . 

To  MAC  HI  N  us. 

A  VERY  singular  and  remarkable  circumstance 
has  happened  in  the  affair  of  Varenus,b  the  conse- 
quence of  which  is  yet  in  suspense.     The  Bithy- 
nians,    it  is   said,  (for  I  only  mention  it  as  re- 
port)   have  dropped  their  prosecution  of  him, 
being,    it  seems,    convinced,    at  last,    that  the 
accusation  was    extremely  ill  founded.     A   de- 
a  His  wife.  b  See  B.  v.  let.  xx. 


puty  from  that  province  is  arrived,  who  lias 
brought  with  him  a  decree  of  their  assembly :  co- 
pies of  which  he  has  delivered  to  Caesar,  and  to  se- 
veral of  the  principal  persons  in  Rome,  as  also 
to  us  the  advocates  for  Varenus.  Magius,*5  ne- 
vertheless, whom  I  mentioned  in  my  last  letter, 
persists  in  his  charge,  to  support  which  he  is  in- 
cessantly teazing  the  worthy  Nigrinus.  This 
excellent  person  was  counsel  for  him  in  his  for- 
mer petition  to  the  consuls,  that  Varenus  might  be 
compelled  to  produce  his  accounts.  Upon  that 
occasion,  as  I  attended  Varenus  merely  as  a 
friend,  I  determined  to  be  silent.  *  I  thought  it 
highly  imprudent  for  me,  who  was  appointed  his 
counsel  by  the  senate,  to  attempt  to  defend  him 
as  a  person  accused,  when  it  was  his  business  to 
insist  that  there  was  actually  no  charge  subsisting 
against  him.  Accordingly,  when  Nigrinus  had 
finished  his  speech,  the  consuls  turning  their  eyes 
upon  me,  I  rose  up,  and  said,  when  they  should 
hear  what  the  real  deputies  from  the  province, 
had  to  object  against  the  motion  of  Nigrinus, 
they  would  be  sensible  that  my  silence  was  not 
without  sufficient  reason.  Upon  this  Nigrinus 
asked  me  to  whom  these  deputies  were  sent  ?  I 
replied,  That  the  decree  of  the  province  was  di~ 
reefed  to  me,  among  others.  He  returned,  That 
is  a  point,  though  it  may  be  clear  to  you,  I  am 


b  One  of  the  Bithynians  employed  to  manage  the  trial. 

14  THE  LETTERS       BOOK  VII, 

not  so  well  satisfied  of.  To  this  I  rejoined, 
though  it  may  not  be  so  evident  to  you,  who  are 
concerned  to  support  the  accusation,  it  may  be 
perfectly  clear  to  me,  who  am  on  the  more  fa- 
vourable side.  Then  Polyaenus,  the  deputy  from 
the  province,  acquainted  the  senate  with  the  rea- 
sons for  superseding  the  prosecution,  but  desired 
it  might  be  without  prejudice  to  Caesar's  determi- 
nation. Magius  answered  him ;  Polysenus  replied ; 
as  for  myself,  I  only  now  and  then  threw  in  a 
word,  observing  in  general  a  profound  silence. — 
For  I  have  learned,  by  experience,  that,  upon 
some  occasions,  there  is  as  much  rhetoric  in 
silence,  as  in  all  the  pomp  of  the  most  studied 
eloquence :  and  I  remember,  in  some  criminal 
cases,  to  have  done  even  more  service  to  my 
clients  by  a  judicious  taciturnity,  than  I  could  have 
expected  from  the  most  artful  speech.  To  enter 
into  the  subject  of  eloquence,  is  indeed  very  foreign 
to  the  intent  of  my  present  letter,  yet  allow  me  to 
give  you  one  instance  in  proof  of  the  observation 
I  just  mentioned.  A  certain  lady  having  lost  her 
son,  suspected  that  his  freedmen,  whom  he  had 
appointed  coheirs  with  her,  were  guilty  of  forging 
the  will  and  poisoning  him.  Accordingly,  she 
charged  them  with  the  fact  before  the  emperor, 
who  directed  Julianus  Servianus  to  try  the  cause. 
I  was  counsel  for  the  defendants,  and  the  case  be- 
ing exceedingly  remarkable,  and  the  advocates 



concerned  on  both  sides  of  high  reputation,  it 
drew  together  a  very  numerous  audience.  The 
event  was,  the  servants  being  put  to  the  torture, 
my  clients  were  acquitted.  But  the  mother-  ap- 
plied a  second  time  to  the  emperor,  pretending' 
she  had  discovered  some  new  evidence,  Servianus 
was  therefore  directed  to  rehear  the  cause,  that 
she  might  produce  her  fresh  proofs.  Julius 
Africanus  was  counsel  for  the  mother,  a  young 
man  of  good  parts,  but  little  experience.  |ie  is 
grandson  to  the  famous  orator  of  that  name,  of 
whom  it  is  reported,  that  Passienus  Crispus,  hear- 
ing him  one  day  plead,  archly  said,  Alt  this,  I 
own,  is  very  fine ;  but  what  is  it  to  the  pur- 
pose ?  Julius  Africanus,  I  say,  having  made  a 
long  harangue,  and  exhausted  the  portion  of 
time  allotted  to  him,  entreated  Servianus  to  allow 
him  to  add  one  word  more.  When  he  had  con- 
cluded, and  the  eyes  of  the  whole  assembly  had 
been  fixed  a  considerable  time  upon  me,  /  would 
have  answered  Africanus,  I  said,  if  he  had 
given  us  that  one  word  he  begged  leave  to  add, 
in  which  I  doubt  not  he  would  have  told  us 
something  we  had  not  heard  before.  I  do  not 
remember  to  have  gained  so  much  applause  by 
any  speech  I  ever  made,  as  I  did  in  this  instance 
by  making  none.  Thus  the  little  that  I  said  for 
Varenus  was  received  with  the  same  general  ap- 
probation. The  consuls,  agreeably  to  the  request 


16  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VII. 

of  Polyaenus,  reserved  the  whole  affair  for  the  de- 
termination of  the  emperor,  whose  resolution  I 
impatiently  wait  for;  as  that  Avill  decide,  whether 
I  may  he  entirely  at  my  ease  with  respect  to  Va-^ 
renus ;  or  must  again  renew  all  my  trouble  anci 
solicitude  upon  his  account.  Farewel. 



1  HOUGH  I  had  very  lately  made  my  Acknow- 
ledgments to  our  friend  Priscus,  yet,  since  it  was 
your  desire,  I  willingly  repeated  them.  It  is 
with  great  pleasure  I  see  so  much  harmony  sub- 
sist between  two  such  worthy  men,  whom  I  ten- 
derly esteem,  and  that  you  consider  each  other's 
amity  as  a  mutual  obligation.  For  he  professes 
also  on  his  part  to  receive  much  happiness  from 
yours,  and,  with  a  very  generous  contention,  en- 
deavours to  rival  you  in  that  reciprocal  affection 
which  time,  I  am  persuaded,  will  augment. 

I  regret  that  any  business  should  call  you  off 
from  your  studies  ;  however,  as  soon  as  you  shall 
have  compromised  (which  you  say  you  are  upon 
the  point  of  effecting)  one  of  the  causes  you  men- 
tion, and  brought  the  other  to  a  hearing,  you  will 
be  at  leisure  to  enjoy  the  retirement  of  the  country ; 
and  when  you  are  satiated  with  repose,  we  may 
hope  to  see  you  in  Rome.  Farewel. 




TH  E  frequent  letters  which  I  receive  from  Sa- 
turninus  expressing  his  sense  of  your  favours  to 
him,  afford  me  inexpressible  satisfaction.  May  you 
go  on  as  you  began,  and  continue  to  cherish  an 
affection  for  so  worthy  a  man,  from  whose  friend- 


ship  you  will  receive  a  most  sensible  and  lasting 
gratification.  For  as  he  is  greatly  distinguished 
by  every  other  virtue,  so  particularly,  by  his 
invariable  attachment  to  his  friends.  Farovel. 

To  Tuscus. 

You  desire  my  sentiments  concerning  the  me- 
thod of  study  you  should  pursue,  in  that  retire- 
ment to  which  you  have  long  since  withdrawn. 
In  the  first  place  then,  I  look  upon  it  as  a  very 
advantageous  practice  (and  it  is  what  many  re- 
commend) to  translate  either  from  Greek  into 
Latin,  or  from  Latin  into  Greek.  By  this  means 
you  will  furnish  yourself  not  only  with  proper 
but  brilliant  expressions,  with  a  variety  of  beauti- 
ful figures  ;  and,  in  short,  acquire  a  nervous  and 
powerful  style.  Besides,  by  imitating  the  most 
approved  authors,  you  will  find  your  imagination 


18  THE  LETTERS       BOOK  VII. 

insensibly  catch  their  flame,  and  kindle  into  a 
similar  warmth  of  invention ;  at  the  same  time  that 
those  passages  which  you  may  possibly  have  over- 
looked in  a  common  way  of  reading,  cannot  es- 
cape you  in  translating :  and  this  method  will 
also  enlarge  your  knowledge,  and  improve  your 
judgment.  After  you  have  read  an  eminent  au- 
thor, it  may  be  proper,  in  order  to  make  yourself 
more  perfectly  master  of  his  subject  and  argu- 
ment, to  turn,  from  being  his  reader,  to  be  his  ri- 
val, as  it  were,  and  attempt  something  of  your 
own  upon  the  same  topic  ;  and  then  make  an  im- 
partial comparison  between  your  performance  and 
his,  in  order  to  observe  in  what  points  either  you 
or  he  have  most  happily  succeeded.  It  will  be  a 
matter  of  very  pleasing  congratulation  to  yourself, 
if  you  should  find,  in  some  articles,  that  you  have 
the  advantage  of  him,  as  it  will  be  a  great  mortifi- 
cation if  he  should  rise  above  you  in  all.  You  may 
sometimes  venture,  in  these  little  experimental  es- 
says, to  try  your  strength  upon  the  most  shining 
passages  of  a  distinguished  author.  The  attempt, 
indeed,  will  be  somewhat  bold  ;  but  as  it  is  a 
contention  which  passes  in  secret,  it  cannot  be 
taxed  with  presumption.  Not  but  that  we  have 
seen  instances  of  persons,  who  have  publicly  en- 
tered this  sort  of  lists  with  great  success,  and  while 
the}7  did  not  despair  of  overtaking,  have  glorious- 
ly advanced  before  those  whom  they  would  have 




thought  it  sufficient  honour  to  follow.  After 
you  have  thus  finished  a  composition,  you  may 
lay  it  aside,  till  it  is  no  longer  fresh  in  your  me- 
lory,  and  then  take  it  up,  in  order  to  revise  and 
correct  it.  You  will  find  several  things  to  retain, 
but  still  more  to  reject;  you  will  add  a  new 
thought  here,  and  alter  another  there.  It  is  a 
laborious  and  tedious  task,  I  own,  thus  to  re-en- 
lame  the  mind  after  its  first  ardour  has  subsid- 
ed ;  to  recover  an  impulse  when  its  force  has 
been  checked  and  spent :  in  a  word,  to  inter- 
weave new  parts  into  the  texture  of  a  composition, 
without  disturbing  or  confounding  the  original 
plan ;  but  the  advantage  attending  this  method 
will  overbalance  the  difficulty.  I  know  your  pre- 
sent attention  is  principally  directed  towards  the 
eloquence  of  the  bar ;  but  I  would  not  for  that 
reason  advise  you  never  to  quit  the  polemic,  if 
I  may  so  call  it,  and  contentious  style.  As  land 
is  improved  by  sowing  it  with  various  seeds,  so 
is'the  mind  by  exercising  it  with  different  studies. 
I  would  recommend  it  to  you,  therefore,  some- 
times to  single  out  a  fine  passage  of  history  ;  and 
sometimes  to  exercise  yourself  in  the  epistolary 
style.  For  it  frequently  happens,  that,  in  plead- 
ing, one  has  occasion  to  introduce  historical, 
and  even  poetical  descriptions ;  as  by  studying" 
the  epistolary  manner  of  writing  you  will  acquire 
a  concise  and  easy  expression.  Tt  will  be  ex- 
3  tremeJy 

520  THE  LETTERS       BOOK  VIL 

tremely  advantageous  also  to  unbend  your  mind 
by  poetical  compositions  :  when  I  say  so,  I  do 
not  mean  that  species  of  poetry  which  turns  upon 
subjects  of  great  length,  (such  being  suitable  only 
for  persons  of  much  leisure)  but  those  little  pieces 
of  the  sprightly  kind  of  poesy,  which  serve  as 
proper  reliefs  to,  and  are  consistent  with  employ- 
ments of  every  sort.  They  commonly  go  under 
the  title  of  poetical  amusements  ;  but  these  amuse- 
ments have  sometimes  gained  as  much  reputation 
to  their  authors,  as  Avorks  of  a  more  serious  na- 
ture ;  and  thus  (for  while  I  am  exhorting  you  to 
poetry,  why  should  I  not  turn  poet  myself?) 

sh  yielding  wax  the  artist's  skill  commands. 
Submissive,  shaped  beneath  his  forming  hands ; 
Now  dreadful  stands  in  arms  a  Mars  confcst  ; 
Or  now  with  Venus'  softer  air  imprest  i 
A  wanton  Cupid  now  the  mould  belies ; 
Now  shines,  severely  chaste,  a  Pallas  wise  : 
As  not  alone  to  quench  the  raging  flame, 
The  sacred  fountain  pours  her  friendly  stream  ; 
But  sweetly  gliding  thro'1  the  flow }ry  green, 
Spreads  glad  refreshment  o'er  the  smiling  scene ; 
So,  formed  by  science,  should  the  ductile  mind 
Receive,  distinct,  each  various  art  refirfd. 

In  this  manner  the  greatest  men,  as  well  as  the 
most  eminent  orators,  were  accustomed  either  to 
exercise  or  am  use  themselves,  or  rather  indeed  both. 
It  is  surprising  how  much  the  mind  is  entertained 
*  and 


and  refreshed  by  these  little  poetical  compositions, 
as  they  turn  upon  subjects  of  gallantry,  satire, 
tenderness,  manners,  and  every  thing,  in  short, 
that  concerns  life  and  the  affairs  of  the  world. — 
Besides,  the  same  advantage  attends  the  exer- 
cising our  minds  in  this  inferior  species  of  poesy, 
as  in  every  other  sort ;  we  turn  from  them  to  the 
easier  composition  of  prose  with  so  much  the 
more  pleasure,  after  having  experienced  the  dif- 
ficulty of  being  constrained  and  fettered  by  num- 

And  now,  perhaps  I  have  enlarged  upon  the 
question  you  proposed  to 'me  more  than  you  de- 
sired; nevertheless,  there  is  still  one  article 
which  I  have  omitted :  I  have  not  told  you 

rhat  kind  of  authors  you  should  read  ;  though 
indeed  that  was  sufficiently  implied  when  I  men- 
tioned the  subjects  I  would  recommend  for 
your  compositions.  You  will  remember  that  the 

nost  approved  writers  of  each  sort  are  to  be 
carefully  selected ;  for,  as  it  has  been  well  ob- 
served, "  though  we  should  read  much,  we  should 
not  read  many 'books. a"  Who  those  authors  are, 


*  Thus  the  noble  and  polite  moralist,  speaking  of  the  in- 
fluence which  our  reading  has  upon  our  taste  and  manners, 
thinks  it  improper  "  to  call  a  man  well-read,  who  reads  many 
"  authors;  since  he  must,  of  necessity,  have  more  ill  models  than 
"  good  :  and  be  more  stuffed  with  bombast,  ill  fancy,  and  wry 
"  thought,  than  filled  with  solid  sense  and  just  imagination." — 
[Charact.  v.  l.  142.]  When  the  Goths  overran  Greece,  the 
VOL.  II.  C  libraries 

22  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VII. 

is  so  clearly  settled,  and  so  generally  known,  that 
I  need  not  particularly  name  them ;  besides,  I 
have  already  extended  this  letter  to  such  an  im- 
moderate length,  that  I  fear  I  have  too  long  in- 
terrupted those  studies,  the  method  of  which  I 
have  been  pointing  out  to  you.  I  will  here  resign 
you,  therefore,  to  your  tablets,  either  to  resume 
the  studies  in  which  you  were  before  engaged,  or 
to  enter  upon  some  of  those  I  have  recommended. 


libraries  escaped  their  destruction,  by  a  notion  which  some  of 
their  leaders  industriously  propagated  among  them,  that  it  would 
be  more  for  their  interest  to  leave  those  spoils  untouched  to  their 
enemies;  as  being  proper  to  enervate  their  minds,  and  amuse 
them  with  vain  and  idle  speculations.  Truth,  perhaps,  has  been 
less  a  gainer  by  this  multiplicity  of  books,  than  error  ;  and  it 
may  be  a  question,  whether  the  excellent  models  which  have 
been  delivered  down  to  us  from  antiquity,  together  with  those 
few  which  modern  times  have  produced,  by  any  means  balance 
the  immoderate  weight  which  must  be  thrown  into  the  opposite 
scale  of  writers.  The  truth  is,  though  we  may  be  learned  by 
other  men's  reflections,  wise  we  can  only  be  by  our  own  :  and 
the  maxim  here  recommended  by  Piiny,  would  well  deserve-  the 
attention  of  the  studious,  though  no  other  inconvenience  attend- 
ed the  reading  of  many  books,  than  that  which  Sir  William  Tem- 
ple apprehends  from  it;  the  lessening  the  force  and  growth  of 
a  man's  own  genius.  For  it  may  be  justly  doubted,  with  that 
ingenious  author,  "  whether  the  weight  and  number  of  so  many 
'  other  men's  thoughts  and  notions,  may  not  suppress  his  own, 
'  or  hinder  the  motion  or  agitation  of  them,  from  which  all 
'  invention  arises;  as  heaping  on  wood,  or  too  many  sticks,  or 
'  too  close  together,  suppresses,  and  sometimes  quite  extin- 
'  guishes  a  little  spark,  that  would  otherwise  have  grown  up  to 
'  a  noble  flame."  [Essay  on  learning,  v.  1.  158.  fol.  ed.] 



As  I  always  desire  to  know  the  end  of  an  in- 
teresting story  when  it  broke  off  before  the  con- 
clusion ;  so,  I  imagine,  you  will  be  glad  to  be  in- 
formed of  the  remaining  part  of  the  cause  which 
I  mentioned  to  you,a  between  the  Bithynians  and 
Varenus.  It  was  pleaded  before  the  emperor 
by  Polyasnus  on  one  side,  and  Magius  on  the 
other.  When  Cassarhad  heard  both  parties.  Nei- 
ther party,  said  he,  shall  have  reason  to  complain 
of  delay  ;  for  I  will  take  care  to  inform  myself 
of  the  real  sentiments  of  the  province.  In  the 
mean  while,  Varenus  has  gained  a  very  consi- 
derable point ;  for  can  any  circumstance  make 
the  justness  of  his  accusation  appear  more  doubt- 
ful, than  that  it  is  a  question  whether  he  is  accused 
at  all  ?  We  have  only  to  wish  that  the  province 
may  not  again  approve  of  the  measure  which,  it 
is  said,  she  now  condemns,  and  repent  of  her  for- 
icr  repentance.  Farewel. 


1  See  Let.  VI.  p.  12,  of  this  Book. 





I  ou  are  surprised,  I  find,  that  my  share  of  five 
twelfths  of  the  estate  which  lately  fell  to  me,  and 
which  I  had  directed  to  be  sold  to  the  best 
bidder,  should  have  been  disposed  of  by  my  freed- 
man  Hermes  to  Corellia  (without  putting  it  up  to 
auction)  at  the  rate  of  seven  hundred  thousand 
sestercesb  for  the  whole.  You  think  it  might 
have  produced  nine  hundred  thousand,0  and  are 
so  much  the  more  desirous  to  know,  whether 
I  am  inclined  to  ratify  what  he  has  done.  I  am  ; 
and  for  such  reasons,  I  hope,  as  not  only  you  will 
approve,  but  which  will  also  excuse  me  to  my 
joint-coheirs  for  having,  upon  a  motive  of  su- 
perior obligation,  separated  my  interest  from 
theirs.  I  have  the  highest  esteem  for  Corellia, 
both  as  the  sister  of  Rufus,  whose  memory  will 
ever  be  sacred  to  me,  and  as  she  was  an  intimate 
friend  of  my  mother.  Besides,  that  excellent 
man  Minutius  Tuscus,  her  husband,  has  every 
claim  to  my  affection  that  a  long  friendship  can 
give  him  ;  as  there  was  likewise  so  strict  an  inti- 
macy between  her  son  and  me,  that  I  fixed  upon 


*  His  wife's  grandfather. 

b  About  £.  5600  of  our  money. 

c/  About  ^£.7200  of  our  money. 


him  to  preside  at  the  games  which  I  exhibited 
when  I  was  elected  praetor.  This  lady,  when  I 
was  last  in  the  country,  expressed  a  strong  in- 
clination to  purchase  some  spot  upon  our  lake  of 
Comum  ;  I  therefore  made  her  an  offer,  at  her 
own  price,  of  any  quantity  of  my  land  there,  ex- 
cept what  came  to  me  from  my  father  and  mother ; 
for  I  could  not  consent  to  sell  any  part  of  my 
patrimonial  estate,  even  to  Corellia.  When  the 
inheritance  in  question  fell  to  me,  I  wrote  to  ac- 
quaint her  it  was  to  be  sold.  This  letter  I  sent 
by  Hermes,  who,  upon  her  requesting  him  im- 
mediately to  assign  to  her  my  proportion,  con- 
sented. You  see,  therefore,  how  strongly  my 
honour  is  engaged  to  confirm  an  act  which  my 
freedman  did,  in  pursuance  of  what  he  knew  to 
be  my  inclinations.  I  have  only  to  entreat  my 
fellow- coheirs  not  to  be  offended  that  I  have 
made  a  separate  sale  of  what  I  had  certainly  a 
right  to  dispose  of.  They  are  under  no  neces- 
sity of  being  governed  by  my  example,  since 
they  have  not  the  same  connexions  with  Corellia, 
and  are  at  full  liberty,  therefore,  to  be  guided  by 
interest,  which,  in  my  own  case,  I  chose  to  sacri- 
fice to  friendship.  Farewel. 


36  THE  LETTERS       BOOK  VII. 


I  HAVE  delayed  so  much  the  longer  sending  you 
the  petition  which  I  have  drawn  up  for  the  use 
of  your,  or  rather  I  should  say  our  friend,  (for 
what  is  there  we  do  not  possess  in  common  ? )  that 
you  might  not  have  time  to  correct  it,  that  is,  to 
render  all  the  pains  I  have  taken  ineffectual. 
After  all,  whether  you  may  or  may  not  find  time 
for  that  purpose,  I  know  not ;  but  of  this  I  am 
sure,  you  will  most  certainly  spoil  it,  if,  agreeably 
to  the  very  delicate  taste  of  you  very  refined  cri- 
tics, you  should  throw  out  its  most  shining'parts. 
I  shall  forgive  you,  however,  if  you  should,  and 
shall,  upon  some  future  occasion,  successfully 
make  use  of  what  your  fastidious  niceness  rejects ; 
as  in  some  future  composition  I  doubt  not  to  re- 
ceive much  applause  for  those  different  expressions 
which  I  have  interlined.  I  suspected  you  would 
call  every  thing  unnatural  and  bombast  which 
is  raised  above  the  style  of  ordinary  language  ;  I 
thought  proper,  therefore,  for  your  ease,  to  vary 
the  phrase,  and  take  it  somewhat  lower,  or  rather, 
indeed,  to  debase  it ;  though  you,  I  know  (for 
I  must  continue  to  rally  your  nice  taste)  will  es- 
teem it  an  improvement.  Thus  far,  in  order  to 
make  you  smile  in  the  midst  of  your  serious  oc- 


cupations,  I  have  indulged  a  jocose  humour; 
but,  without  doubt,  I  am  wonderous  serious 
when  I  add,  that  I  expect  to  be  reimbursed  my 
charges  in  sending  a  courier  express  with  this 
petition.  Now  are  you  not  disposed  to  condemn 
it,  not  only  in  some  of  its  parts,  but  in  the  whole, 
and  insist  that  you  ought  not  to  pay  for  a  thing 
which  is  absolutely  of  no  value  ?  Farewel. 



FIND  by  your  letter  that  you  do,  and  do  not 
study.  This  will  appear  a  little  enigmatical  till  I 
explain  it :  you  expressly  say,  indeed,  that  you 
have  bidden  adieu  to  study ;  but  such  a  vein  of 
elegance  runs  through  your  whole  letter,  that  it 
is  impossible  it  should  have  been  composed 
without  much  thought ;  unless  you  are  privileged 
beyond  the  rest  of  mankind,  and  can  express  such 
admirable  sentiments  in  so  polished  a  style,  care-_ 
lessly  and  with  a  flowing  pen.  Farewel. 





You  are  truly  generous  to  desire  and  insist, 
that  I  take  for  my  share  of  the  estate  you  pur- 
chased of  me,  not  after  the  rate  of  seven  hundred 
thousand  sesterces3  for  the  whole,  as  my  freed- 
man  sold  it  to  you;  but  in  the  proportion  of 
nine  hundred  thousand,  agreeable  to  what  you 
gave  to  the  farmers  of  the  twentieths15  for  their 
part.  But  I  must  desire  and  insist,  in  my  turn, 
that  you  consider  not  only  what  is  suitable 
to  your  character,  but  what  is  worthy  of  mine  ; 
and  that  you  suffer  me  to  oppose  your  in- 
clination in  this  single  instance,  with  the  same 
warmth  that  I  obey  it  in  all  others.  Farewel. 


You   ask  me  how  I  spend  my   time  ?      You 
know  how  much  of  it  is  disposed  in  the  business 
of  my  post;  what  remains,  I  devote  to  the  ser- 

a  See  letter  the  llth  of  this  book. 

b  Augustus  imposed  a  tax  of  the  20th  part  of  all  legacies  and 
inheritances,  which  he  appropriated  to  the  support  of  the  army. 
This  was  deemed  a  heavy  imposition,  and  accordingly  it  was 
eased,  in  several  points,  by  succeeding  emperors,  particularly 
by  Trajan,  as  appears  from  our  author's  noble  panegyric  upon 
him  [Sect.  37,  &c.]  but  it  was  not  wholly  abolished  till  the 
time  of  Antoninus  Pius. 



rice  of  my  friends,  and  sometimes  to  my  books ; 
and  although  I  will  not  venture  to  affirm  it  would 
be  better,  I  am  sure  it  would  be  happier,  if  I 
could  say  that  the  latter  not  only  sometimes,  but 
constantly  engages  me.  I  should  be  concerned 
to  hear,  that  your  occupations  are  of  the  sort 
least  agreeable  to  your  inclinations,  if  I  did  not 
know  that  to  be  active  in  the  affairs  of  one's  na- 
tive corporation,  and  in  settling  controversies 
among  one's  friends  there,  are  employments  of 
the  most  laudable  kind. 

I  was  well  persuaded  the  company  of  our  friend 
Priscus  would  be  extremely  agreeable  to  you, 
sensible  as  I  am  of  the  amiable  simplicity  and 
politeness  of  his  manners  ;  but  I  had  yet  to  learn, 
(what  I  had  the  pleasure  to  be  informed  by  your 
letter)  that  he  is  also  the  most  grateful  of  men, 
by  so  kindly  remembering  the  little  services  I 
have  done  him,  Farewel. 


C  A  L  E  s  T  R  i  u  s  T  i  RO,  to  whom  I  am  united  by  every 
public  and  private  connexion,  is  in  the  number 
of  my  most  intimate  friends.  We  served  toge- 
ther in  the  army,  and  were  both  of  us  qua3storsa 
at  the  same  time  to  Caesar.  He  got  the  start  of 

a  An  office  resembling  that  of  our  secretary  of  state. 

30  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  VII. 

me,  indeed,  in  the  tribunate,  by  the  privilege 
which  the  law  gives  to  those  who  have  children  ;b 
but  I  overtook  him  in  the  praetorship,  by  the  in- 
dulgence of  the  Emperor,  who  dispensed  with  my 
wanting  a  year  of  the  legal  age  for  that  office.  I 
frequently  retire  with  him  to  his  country  villas,  and 
he  often  takes  the  benefit  of  change  of  air  at  mine. 
He  is  lately  appointed  proconsul  of  Boetica,  and 
proposes  to  pass  through  Ticinum,0  in  his  way  to 
that  province.  I  hope,  and  indeed  am  well  as- 
sured, I  can  easily  prevail  with  him  to  turn  out 
of  his  road  to  your  house,  if  you  should  have  an 
inclination  to  make  any  of  those  slaves  free  be- 
fore a  magistrate,  to  whom  you  have  already 
given  their  liberty d  in  the  presence  of  your  friends. 
You  need  be  under  no  apprehension  that  he  will 
look  upon  this  as  a  trouble,  as  I  am  sure  he 
would  willingly  travel  round  the  world  for  my 
sake.  I  beg  you,  therefore,  to  lay  aside  all 
scruple,  and  only  consider  what  will  be  most 


b  A  law  at  first  proposed  by  Augustus,  but  which  afterwards, 
with  several  alterations,  passed  in  the  consulship  ofPapius  and 
Poppeas,  A.  U.  762  ;  in  which,  amongst  other  things,  it  was 
enacted,  "  That  all   magistrates   should   take   precedence   ac- 
cording to  the  number  of  their  children;  that  in  elections 
those  candidates  should  be  preferred  who  had  the  most  nu- 
merous offspring;  and   that  any  person  might  stand  sooner 
than  ordinary  for  an  office,  if  he  had  as  many  children  as  he 
wanted  years  to  be  legally  capable  of  such  a  dignity."      Vid. 
Lipsii  Excurs.  ad  Tacit.  An.  1.  3. 
c  Pavia  in  the  duchy  of  Milan. 

1  This  last  method  only  discharged  them  from  servitude,  but 
did  not  entitle  them  to  the  privileges  of  complete  freedom. 



agreeable  to  yourself;  for,  be  assured,  he  will  take 
as  much  pleasure  in  executing  my  requests,  as 
I  do  in  obeying  yours.  Farewel. 



-LIVERY  author  has  his  particular  reasons  for  re- 
citing his  works  ;  mine,  I  have  often  said,  is  in 
order,  if  any  error  should  have  escaped  my  own 
observation  (as  no  doubt  is  probable)  to  have  it 
pointed  out  to  me.  I  cannot  therefore  but  be 
surprised  to  find  (what  your  letter  assures  me) 
that  there  are  some  who  blame  me  for  reciting; 


my  speeches  :  unless,  perhaps,  they  are  of  opi- 
nion that  this  is  the  single  species  of  composition 
which  ought  to  be  privileged  from  correction.  If 
so,  I  would  willingly  ask  them  why  they  allow 
(if  perchance  they  vouchsafe  to  allow)  that 
history  may  be  recited,  since  it  is  a  work  which 
ought  to  be  devoted  to  truth,  not  ostentation  ? 
or  why  tragedy,  as  it  is  composed  for  action  and 
the  stage,  not  for  being  read  to  a  private  audi- 
ence ?  or  lyric  poetry,  as  it  is  not  a  reader,  but  a 
chorus  of  voices  and  instruments  that  it  requires  ? 
They  will  reply,  perhaps,  that  in  the  instances 
mentioned,  custom  has  made  the  practice  in 
question  usual :  I  should  be  glad  to  know  then, 
if  they  think  the  person  who  first  introduced  this 
practise  is  to  be  condemned?  Besides,  the  re- 
hearsal of  orations  is  no  unprecedented  thing  ei- 
1  ther 


ther  with  us  or  the  Grecians.  Still,  perhaps, 
they  will  insist,  that  it  can  answer  no  purpose  to 
recite  a  speech  which  has  previously  been  deliver- 
ed in  public.  There  would  be  some  force  in  this 
objection,  if  one  were  immediately  to  repeat  the 
very  same  performance,  and  to  the  very  same 
audience  ;  but  if  you  make  several  additions  and 
alterations,  if  your  audience  is  composed  partly 
of  the  same,  and  partly  of  different  persons,  and 
the  recital  is  at  some  distance  of  time ;  why  is 
there  less  propriety  in  rehearsing  your  speech  than 
in  publishing  it  ?  "  But  it  is  difficult,"  say  the  ob- 
jectors, "to  give  satisfaction  to  an  audience  by 
"  the  mere  reading  of  a  speech,"  that  is  a  reason 
which  concerns  the  particular  skill  and  pains  of 
the  person  who  rehearses,  but  by  no  means  holds 
against  recitation  in  general.  In  fact  it  is  not 
while  I  am  reading,  but  when  I  am  read,  that  I 
aim  at  approbation  ;  and  upon  this  principle  it  is, 
that  I  omit  no  sort  of  method  which  may  render 
my  performances  more  correct.  Accordingly,  I 
again  and  again  revise  my  compositions  in  pri- 
vate; afterwards  read  them  to  two  or  three  friends, 
and  then  give  them  to  a  few  others  to  make  their 
remarks.  If  I  have  still  any  doubt  concerning 
the  justness  of  their  observations,  I  carefully  re- 
consider them  with  another  friend  or  two;  and 
then  finally  recite  them  to  a  more  numerous  as- 
sembly. This  is  the  time,  believe  me,  when  I 
4  find 



find  myself  best  qualified  to  exercise  all  the  se- 
venty of  criticism";  for  my  attention  rises  in  pro- 
portion to  my  solicitude ;  as  nothing  renders  the 
judgment  so  acute  to  discern  errors  as  that  modes$ 
respect  and  reverence  one  feels  for  one's  audience 
upon  those  occasions.  For  tell  me,  whether 
you  would  not  be  infinitely  less  affected  if 
you  were  to  speak  before  a  single  person  only, 
though  ever  so  learned,  than  before  a  numerous 
assembly,  even  though  it  were  composed  of  none 
but  illiterate  people  ?  When  you  rise  up  to 
plead,  are  you  not  at  that  juncture,  above  all 
others,  most  diffident  of  your  powers?  and  do  you. 
not  wish,  I  will  not  say  some  particular  parts  on- 
ly, but  that  the  whole  frame  of  your  intended 
speech  were  altered  ?  especially  if  the  circle  should 
be  large  in  which  you  are  to  speak ;  for,  there  is 
something  in  a  crowded  audience,  even  of  the  most 
vulgar  kind,  that  strikes  one  with  awe.  And  if  you 
suspect,  at  the  first  opening  of  your  speech,  that 
you  are  not  well  received,  do  you  not  find  all  the 
energy  of  your  mind  weakened,  and  the  whole 
strength  of  your  abilities  sink  under  you?  The 
reason  I  imagine  to  be,  that  there  is  I  know  not 
what  dignity  in  the  collective  sentiments  of  a 
multitude,  and  though  separately  their  judgment 
is,  perhaps,  of  little  weight,  yet,  when  united,  it 
becomes  respectable.  Agreeably  to  this  notion, 
fomponius  Secundus,  the  famous  tragic  poet, 


34  THK  LETTERS        BOOK  VII. 

whenever  his  friends  and  he  differed  about  the 
retaining  or  rejecting  any  passage  in  his  dramatic 
writings,  used  to  say,  I  appeal*  to  the  people  ;  and 
accordingly,  by  their  silence  or  applause,  adopted 
either  his  own  or  his  friends'  sentiments  :  such  was 
the  regard  he  paid  to  the  populace  !b  Whether 


a  There  is  a  kind  of  witticism  in  this  expression,  which  will 
be  lost  to  the  mere  English  reader,  unless  he  be  informed,  that 
the  Romans  had  a  privilege,  confirmed  to  them  by  several  laws 
which  passed  in  the  earlier  ages  of  the  republic,  of  appealing 
from  the  decisions  of  the  magistrates,  to  the  general  assembly 
of  the  people:  and  the  form  of  appeal  was  in  the  same  words 
which  Pomponius  here  applies  to  a  different  purpose. 

b  However  unsafe  in  general,  an  appeal  to  the  vulgar  notions 
may  be,  there  are  yet  some  cases  in  which  their  sentiments 
have  ever  been  received  by  the  judicious,  as  decisive.  The 
merit  of  performances  in  the  persuasive,  or  imitative  arts,  so  far 
as  the  mere  raising  or  representing  the  passions  are  concerned, 
will  best  be  tried  by  the  effect  they  produce  on  plain  and  un- 
tutored minds  :  for  (as  Tully  observes)  "  That  artist  who  has 
"  nature  for  his  object,  must  certainly  fall  short  of  the  truth  of 
"  his  art,  where  nature  is  not  moved.*"  The  custom  which 
prevailed  among  the  Romans  of  reciting  their  works  of  genius 
in  the  porticos  and  places  of  public  resort,  took  its  rise  proba- 
bly from  the  same  notion  of  a  general  and  innate  taste  being 
implanted  in  all  mankind  of  what  is  just  and  natural  in  the 
moving  arts.  It  was  upon  this  principle,  likewise,  that  the 
great  masters  in  painting  and  statuary  in  ancient  Greece,  exhi- 
bited their  performances  to  public  view,  and  corrected  them  by 
the  popular  feelings.  There  is  a  remarkable  story  of  Annibal 
Cariachi,  which  shews  he  appealed  to  the  same  standard.  He 
observed  that  a  famous  picture  of  Domenichino's,  representing 
the  ilagellation  of  St.  Andrew,  made  a  very  strong  impression 
upon  an  old  woman,  who,  at  the  same  time,  seemed  little  affected 
with  another  picture  of  a  martyrdom,  done  by  Guido,  which 
was  placed  near  it.  A  debate  afterwards  happening  about  the 
respective  merit  of  these  two  performances,  Carrachi  decided  the 
dispute  by  only  relating  this  tact.f  Thus,  as  the  poet  observes, 

The  people  s  voice  is  odd, 

It  is,  and  it  is  not,  t/ieroice  of  God.  POPE. 

*   I>c  orat,  lib.  1. 

•f-  The  well  known  appeal  of  Molicrc  to  his  old  house-keeper,  cannot  but  occur 
».o  the  reader  as  a  remarkable  instance  of  the  same  kind. 

BOOK  VII.          OF  PLINY.  35 

with  justice  or  not,  does  not  concern  me  to  deter- 
mine, as  I  never  recite  my  works  publicly,  but 
only  before  a  select  number  of  friends,  whose 
presence  I  respect,  and  whose  judgment  I  value ; 
in  a  word,  whose  opinions  I  observe  as  if  they 
were  so  many  individuals  I  had  separately  con- 
sulted, at  the  same  time  that  I  stand  in  as  much 
awe  before  them,  as  I  should  before  the  most  nu- 
merous assembly.  What  Cicero  says  of  the  pen, 
will,  in  my  opinion,  hold  equally  true  of  that 
dread  we  have  of  the  public  :  "  It  is  the  most  ri- 
"  gid  critic  imaginable/"  The  very  fear  of  re- 
citing, of  entering  an  assembly,  and  the  reveren- 
tial concern  when  one  appears,  there;  each  of  these 
circumstances  being  impressed  upon  the  com- 
posers mind,  tend  to  improve  and  perfect  his 
performance.  Upon  the  whole,  therefore,  I  can- 
not repent  of  a  practice  which  I  have  experienced 
to  be  so  exceedingly  beneficial ;  and,  far  from  be- 
ing discouraged  by  the  trifling  objections  of  these 
'censors,  I  request  you  to  point  out  to  me  if  there 
be  any  other  method  of  correction  that  I  may 
also  adopt  it ;  for  nothing  can  sufficiently  satisfy 
my  anxiety  to  render  my  compositions  perfect. 
I  reflect  what  an  arduous  adventure  it  is  to  resign 
any  work  into  the  hands  of  the  public  ;  and  I 
cannot  but  be  persuaded,,  that  frequent  revisals, 


Stilus  cst  optimus  &,-  prcestantissintus  dicendi  effector  atque 

magister.     De  Orat.  1.  33. 

3e>  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VII. 

and  many  consultations,  must  go  to  the  finish- 
ing of  a  performance,  which  one  desires  should 
universally  and  for  ever  please.  Farewel. 


You  ask  my  advice  in  what  manner  you  shall 
settle  the  sum  of  money  which  you  have  presented 
to  our  fellow- citizens  of  Comum  for  an  annual 
festival,  so  as  to  secure  the  just  application  of 
it  after  your  death.  Your  question  proceeds  from 
a  truly  generous  principle,  but  the  answer  is 
not  very  easy.  If  you  pay  down  the  money  to 
the  community,  there  is  great  clanger  that  it  will 
be  squandered  away.  If  you  settle  lands  for 
that  purpose,  they  will  probably  be  ill  cultivated, 
as  those  of  the  public  usually  are.  Upon  the  whole, 
then,  I  can  think  of  no  method  more  eligible  than 
what  I  pursued  myself  in  a  parallel  instance. — 
Intending  to  give  five  hundred  thousand  sesterces* 
for  the  maintenance  of  children  who  were  born  of 
good  families,  I  made  a  fictitious  sale  to  the  pub- 
lic agent  of  an  estate  in  land  which  was  worth 
considerably  more,  who  re-conveyed  it  back  to 
me,  charged  with  a  yearly  rent  of  30,000  ses- 
terces.1" By  these  means  the  principal  was  secured 


*  About  -£.4000  of  our  money. 

b  About   .s£.240  of  our  money.      It  should  seem  by  this 



to  the  community,  at  the  same  time  that  the  in- 
terest was  certain,  and  the  estate  itself  (as  it  was  of 
much  greater  value  than  the  rent  charged  upon 
it)  was  always  sure  of  finding  a  tenant  I  am 
well  aware,  indeed,  that,  by  this  method,  I  have 
actually  given  more  than  I  appear  to  have  done, 
as  the  value  of  the  whole  estate  will  be  much 
lessened  by  the  incumbrance  with  which  it  is 
charged.  But  the  interest  of  the  public  ought 
always  to  supersede  every  private  consideration, 
as  what  is  eternal  is  to  be  preferred  to  what  is 
mortal  ;  and  a  man  of  true  generosity  will  study 
in  what  manner  to  render  his  benefaction  most 
advantageous,  rather  than  how  he  may  bestow 
it  with  least  expence.  Farewel. 


I  AM  deeply  afflicted  by  the  ill  state  of  health  of 
my  friend  Fannia,   which  she  contracted  during 
her  attendance  on  Junia,  one  of  the  vestal  virgins. 
She  engaged  in  this  good  office  at  first  volun- 


passage,  that  the  rate  of  interest  of  money  upon  mortgage 
among  the  Romans  in  Pliny's  time,  or  rather  at  the  time  when 
he  wrote  this  letter  (for  no  doubt  it  varied  with  public  circum- 
stances) was  at  6  per  cent,  as,  in  the  common  way  of  loan,  upon 
personal  security,  it  appears,  from  the  sjxty-second  letter  of 
the  tenth  book,  to  have  been  so  high  as  12  per  cent. 

VOL.  II.  D 

38  Tut  LETTERS        BOOK  Vlf. 

tarily,  Junia  being  her  relation ;  but  was  after- 
wards appointed  to  it  by  an  order  from  the  college 
of  priests:  for  these  virgins,  when  any  indispo- 
sition makes  it  necessary  to  remove  them  from 
the  temple  of  Vesta,  are  always  delivered  into  the 
care  and  custody  of  some  venerable  matron..  It 
was  her  assiduity  in  the  execution  of  this  charge 
that  occasioned  her  present  disorder,  which  is  a 
continual  fever,  attended  with  a  cough  that  in- 
creases daily.  She  is  extremely  emaciated,  and 
every  part  of  her  frame  seems  in  a  total  decay, 
except  her  spirits  -t  those,  indeed,  she  preserves  in 
their  full  vigour ;  and  with  a  fortitude  worthy  the 
wife  of  Helvidius,  and  the  daughter  of  Thrasea. 
In  every  other  article  her  health  is  so  greatly  im- 
paired, that  I  am  more  than  apprehensive  upon 
her  account ;  I  am  deeply  afflicted.  I  grieve, 
my  friend,  that  so  excellent  a  woman  is  going  to 
be  removed  from  the  world,  which  will  never, 
perhaps,  again  behold  her  equal.  How  eminent  is 
her  chastity,  her  piety,  her  gravity,  her  courage! 
She  twice  followed  her  husband  into  exile,  and 
Once  was  banished  upon  his  .account.  For 
Senecio,  when  he  was  arraigned  for  writing  the  life 
of  Helvidius,  having  said,  in  his  defence,  that  he 
composed  that  work  at  the  request  of  Fannia ; 
Metius  Cams,  with  a  stern  and  threatening  air, 
asked  her  whether  it  was  true  ?  She  acknow- 
ledged it  was  :  and  when  he  farther  questioned 



her,  whether  she  supplied  him  likewise  with  ma- 
terials for  that  purpose,  and  whether  her  mother 
was  privy  to  this  transaction  ?  she  boldly  con- 
fessed the  former,  but  absolutely  denied  the 
latter.  In  short,  throughout  her  whole  exa- 
mination, not  a  word  escaped  her  which  betrayed 
the  least  timidity.  On  the  contrary,  she  had  the 
courage  to  preserve  a  copy  of  those  very  books 
which  the  senate,  over-awed  by  the  tyranny  of  the 
times,  had  ordered  to  be  suppressed,  and  the 
effects  of  the  author  to  be  confiscated ;  taking 
with  her,  as  her  companions,  those  obnoxious  vo- 
lumes which  had  been  the  cause  of  her  exile. — 
How  pleasing  is  her  conversation ;  how  polite 
her  Address  ;  and  (which  seldom  unites  in  the 
same,  character)  how  venerable  her  whole  de- 
meanour. She  will  hereafter,  I  am  well  persuaded, 
be  pointed  out  as  a  model  to  all  wives,  and  perhaps 
be  deemed  worthy  to  be  held  forth  as  an  exam- 
ple of  fortitude  even  to  our  sex.  I  am  sure,  at 
least,  that  we,  who  have  the  pleasure  of  seeing  and 
conversing  with  her,  contemplate  her  with  the 
same  admiration  as  those  female  heroines  who  are 
celebrated  in  ancient  story.  I  confess  I  cannot 
but  tremble  for  this  illustrious  house,  as  it  seems 
shaken  to  its  very  foundation,  and  falling  into 
ruins  with  this  excellent  woman  ;  for,  though  she 
will  leave  descendants  behind  her,  yet  what  a 
height  of  virtue  must  they  attain,  what  glorious 

D  2  actions 

40  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VII. 

actions  must  they  perform,  ere  the  world  will  be 
persuaded  that  she  was  not  the  last  of  her  family  ! 
It  is  an  aggravating  circumstance  of  affliction 
to  me,  that,  by  her  death,  I  seem  to  lose  a  se- 
cond time  her  mother  ;  that  worthy  mother  (and 
what  can  I  say  higher  in  her  praise)  of  so 
amiable  a  woman  !  who,  as  she  was  restored 
to  me  in  her  daughter,  so  she  will  now  again 
be  taken  from  me,  and  the  loss  of  Fannia  will 
thus  pierce  my  heart  at  once  with  a  fresh 
stab,  and  tear  open  a  former  wound.  I  so  truly 
loved  and  honoured  them  both,  that  I  know 
not  which  had  the  greatest  share  of  my  affection 
and  esteem ;  and  it  was  a  question  they  wished 
might  ever  remain  undetermined.  In  their  pros- 
perity and  their  adversity  I  performed  every  good 
office  to  them  in  my  power,  and  was  their  com- 
forter in  exile,  as  well  as  their  avenger  at  their 
return.  But  I  have  not  yet  discharged  all  the 
obligations  I  owe  them,  and  am  so  much  the  more 
solicitous  for  the  recovery  of  this  lady,  that  I 
may  have  time  to  acquit  the  full  claim  she  has 
upon  my  kindest  offices.  Such  is  the  anxiety 
under  which  I  write  this  letter !  But  if  some 
friendly  power  should  happily  give  me  occasion 
to  exchange  it  for  sentiments  of  joy,  I  shall  not 
complain  of  the  alarms  I  now  suffer.  Farewel. 




I  HAVE  perused  your  book  with  all  the  attention 
I  was  master  of,  and  have  marked  the  passages  I 
think  should  be  altered,  and  those  which  I  am  of 
opinion  ought  entirely  to  be  thrown  out.  It  is  as 
habitual  to  me  to  speak  truth,  as  it  is  agree- 
able to  you  to  hear  it,  and  indeed  none  are  more 
patient  of  censure,  than  those  who  have  the  best 
claim  to  applause.  I  now  expect,  in  return, 
your  observations  upon  that  treatise  of  mine  which 
I  lately  sent  you.  How  agreeable,  how  noble  is 
such  a  commerce  !.  and  how  am  I  pleased  with  the 
thought,  that  posterity,  if  it  shall  at  all  concern, 
itself  with  us,  will  not  cease  to  mention  with 
what  harmony,  what  freedom,  what,  fidelity,  we 
lived  together !  It  will  be  an  instance  as  re- 


markable  as  it  is  uncommon,  that  two  persons, 
nearly  of  the  same  age  and  rank,  and  of  some 
character  in  the  republic  of  letters,  (for  since  I 
join  myself  with  you,  I  am  obliged  to  speak  of 
your  merit  with  reserve, )  should  thus  mutually 
assist  and  promote  each  other's  studies.  When 
I  was  a  very  young  man,  and  you  in  the  prime  of 
your  glory  and  reputation,  I  endeavoured  to  fol- 
low your  steps,  and  was  desirous  to  be  considered 
as  next  in  fame  to  you ; 

D  3  But 

42  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  VII. 

But  next  with  many  a  length  between  /* 

And  though  there  were,  at  that  time,  many  cele- 
brated geniuses  in  Rome,  yet  you,  of  all  others, 
appeared  to  me,  not  only  most  worthy  to  be  my 
model,  but,  from  a  similitude  of  our  dispositions, 
most  easy  for  me  to  copy.  It  is  particularly 
agreeable  to  me  therefore  to  find,  that,  in  all  com- 
panies where  literature  is  the  topic  of  conversa- 
tion, \vc  are  always  mentioned  together,  and  that 
my  name  immediately  follows  yours.  It  is  true, 
there  are  some  who  prefer  you  to  me,  as  others, 
on  the  contrary/give  me  the'  advantage ;  but  I 
am  little  solicitous  in  Avhat  order  we  are  placed, 
so  that  we  stand  together ;  for,  in  my  estimation, 
whoever  is  next  to  you  must  necessarily  precede 
every  one  else.  You  even  see,  in  wills b  (unless 
in  the  case  of  particular  friendship  to  either  of  us) 
we  are  always  equally  considered,  and  that  the 


a  Virg.  ^En.  Pitt's  Transl. 

b  "  It  was  the  peculiar  custom  of  Rome,  for  the  clients  and 

"  dependents  of  families,  to  bequeath,  at  their  death,  to  their 
patrons,  some  considerable  part  of  their  estates,  as  the  most 
effectual  testimony  of  their  respect  and  gratitude,  and  the 
more  a  man  received  in  this  way,  the  more  it  redounded  to 
his  credit.  Thus  Cicero  men!ions  it  to  the  honour  of  Lu- 
cullus,  that,  while  he  governed  Asia  as  proconsul,  many 
great  estates  were  left  to  him  by  will.  And  Nepos  tells  u*, 
in  praise  of  Athens,  that  he  succeeded  to  many  inheritances 
of  the  same  kind,  bequeathed  to  him  on  no  other  account 
than  of  his  friendly  and  amiable  temper.  Cicero,  when  he 
was  falsely  reproached  by  Antony,  with  being  neglected  on 
these  occasions,  declared,  in  his  reply,  that  he  had  gained 
from  this  single  article,  about  two  hundred  thousand  pounds." 

-Middleton's  Life  of  Tully,  x.  2.  511.  , 


legacies  bequeathed  to  us  are  generally  the  same, 
both  in  number  and  value.  Since,  therefore,  we 
are  thus  united  by  a  similitude  of  studies,  man- 
ners, reputation,  and  even  by  testamentary  dona- 
tions, those  last  instances  of  the  world's  good 
opinion ;  should  not  these  circumstances  tend  to 
enflame  us  mutually  with  the  most  ardent  affec- 
tion ?  Farewel. 



1  OBEY,  my  dearest  colleague,  your  commands 
to  favour  the  weakness  of  my  eyes  ;  and  accord- 
ingly I  came  hither  in  a  covered  litter,  in  which 
I  was  as  much  sheltered  as  if  I  had  been  in  my 
chamber.  I  forbear  too  (with  reluctance  indeed, 
however  I  do  forbear)  both  writing  and  reading; 
and  it  is  with  my  ears  only  that  I  study.  By 
drawing  the  curtains  of  my  chamber,  I  make  it 
gloomy,  but  not  dark ;  and  when  I  walk  in  my 
covered  portico,  I  shut  the  lower  range  of  win- 
dows, and  by  that  means  enjoy  as  much  shade  as 
light.  Thus  I  endeavour  to  accustom  myself  to 
the  light  by  degrees.  The  bath  being  of  service 
in  this  case,  I  allow  myself  the  use  of  it,  as  also 
of  wine,  because  it  is  not  judged  prejudicial,  but 
I  drink  it  with  great  moderation.  I  do  so,  you 

D  4  kn.ow 

44  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VII. 

know,  at  all  times,  but  particularly  now  that  I 
have  onea  who  narrowly  observes  me.  I  received 
the  pullet  with  great  pleasure,  as  coming  from 
you  ;  and  weak  as  my  eyes  still  are,  they  are  strong 
enough,  however,  to  discern  it  is  extremely  fat, 


You  will  not  wonder  I  so  earnestly  pressed  you 
to  confer  the  tribunate  upon  my  friend,  when 
you  shall  be  informed  who  and  what  he  is  ;  and 
as  you  have  complied  with  my  request,  I  may 
now  acquaint  you  with  his  name  and  character. 
It  is  Cornelius  Minutianus,  who,  both  in  rank  and 
merit,  is  the  ornament  of  that  province  to  which 
I  owe  my  birth.  His  family  and  fortune  are  no- 
ble, and  yet  he  cultivates  science  with  as  much 
application,  as  if  the  narrowness  of  his  circum- 
stances rendered  it  necessary.  He  is  a  most  up- 
right judge,  a  most  strenuous  advocate,  a  most 
faithful  friend.  You  will  look  upon  the  obliga- 
tion as  done  to  yourself,  when  you  shall  have  an 
opportunity  of  becoming  better  acquainted  with 
this  excellent  person,  who  (not  to  speak  in  too 
lofty  terms  of  so  modest  a  man)  is  equal  to  all 


*  Meaning  his  wife,  perhaps,  or  his  physician. 


the  honours  and  titles  that  can  be  conferred  upon 
him.     Farewel. 


I  GREATLY  rejoice  that  you  have  so  n>uch  re- 
covered your  strength  as  to  be  able  to  take  so 
long  a  journey  as  to  Mediolanum,b  in  order  to 
meet  Tiro  ;  but,  that  you  may  continue  to  enjoy 
that  happiness,  let  me  entreat  you  to  spare  your- 
self a  fatigue  so  improper  for  a  man  of  your  years. 
I  must  even  insist,  that  you  wait  for  him  at  Co- 
mum,  and  that  you  do  not  stir  out  of  your  own 
house,  nor  even  out  of  your  chamber,  to  receive 
him.  As  I  love  him  with  the  affection  of  a  bro- 
ther, it  would  be  unreasonable  he  should  expect 
from  the  person  whom  I  honour  as  my  parent,  a 
point  of  ceremony  which  he  would  spare  his  own. 



NUMIDIA  QUADRATILLA  is  lately  dead,  hav- 
ing lived  almost  to  her  eightieth  year.  She  en- 
joyed, till  her  last  sickness,  an  uninterrupted  state 


*  His  wife's  grandfather. 

*  Milan.  fr 

4$  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VIL 

of  health,  with  a  strength  and  firmness  of  body 
unusual  to  persons  of  her  sex.  She  has  left  a 
very  prudent  will,  having  disposed  of  two  thirds 
of  her  estate  to  her  grandson,  and  the  rest  to  her 
granddaughter.  With  the  young  lady  I  have 
little  acquaintance,  but  the  grandson  is  one  of 
the  most  favourite  and  intimate  friends  I  have. — 
He  is  a  person  of  singular  worth  ;  and  his  merit 
entitles  him  to  the  affection  of  a  relation,  even 
where  his  blood  does  riot.  Though  he  is  ex- 
tremely beautiful,  he  escaped  every  malicious  im- 
putation both  whilst  a  boy  and  when  a  youth  : 
he  was  a  husband  at  four  and  twenty,  and  would 
have  been  a  father,  if  Providence  had  not  disap- 
pointed his  hopes.  Notwithstanding  he  resided, 
in  the  family  with  his  grandmother,  who  was  ex- 
ceedingly devoted  to  the  pleasures  of  the  town,  yet 
he  observed  great  severity  of  conduct  himself,  at 
the  same  time  that  he  behaved  to  her  with  the  ut- 
most respect.  She  retained  a  set  of  pantomimes,* 
and  was  an  encourager  of  this  sort  of  people,  to, 

a  degree 

*  These  pantomimes  were,  as  their  name  imports,  universal 
mimics,  whose  humour  consisted  in  imitating  the  peculiar  man- 
ner ami  gesture  of  particular  persons.  They  were  at  first  in- 
troduced upon  the  stage,  as  Scaliger  supposes,  to  succeed  the 
chorus  and  comedies,  and  divert  the  audience  with  buffoon  pos- 
tures and  antic  dances.  In  after  times  those  interludes  became 
distinct  entertainments,  and  were  exhibited  apart  from  other 
plays.  But  the  use  of  these  pantomimes  was  not  confined  to 
the  stage  only,  for  Suetonius  informs  us,  they  were  introduced 
in  funeral  solemnities,  in  ortjer  to  represent  the  manner  of  the 


a  degree  inconsistent  with  a  person  of  her  sex 
and  rank.  But  Quadratus  never  appeared  at  these 
entertainments,  not  only  when  she  exhibited  them 
in  the  theatre,  but  even  in  her  own  house  ;  nor 
indeed  did  she  require  him  to  be  present.  I  once 
heard  her  say,  when  she  was  recommending  the 
studies  of  her  grandson  to  my  inspection,  that  it 
was  her  custom,  in  order  totpass  away  some  of 
those  unemployed  hours  with  which  female  life 
abounds,  to  amuse  herself  with  playing  at  chess,1* 


b  This  game,  among  the  Romans,  seems  to  have  been  much 
of  the  same  nature,  though,  by  Quadratilla  dismissing  her  grand- 
son when  she  played  at  it,  not  in  the  same  estimation,  as  &  female 
amusement,  with  modern  chess.  Their  men,  which  they  called 
calculi,  or  latrunculi,  were  made  sometimes  of  wax,  and  some- 
times of  glass,  and  were  distinguished  by  black  and  white  colours. 
The  invention  of  it  has  been  carried  by  some  so  high  as  the 
siege  of  Troy,  but  Peter  Texeiras,  in  his  history  of  Persia,  (as 
quoted  by  Pitiscus  in  his  Lex.  Antiq.  Rom.)  imagines  it  to  be 
of  Persian  original,  "  Because,"  says  he,  "  in  all  countries  where 
this  game  is  played,  the  names  of  the  men  are  either  the  same 
with,  or  plaialy  a  corruption  of,  those  given  to  them  in  the  Per- 
sian language."  Allusions  to  this  game  are  frequent  in  the 
classic  writers ;  but  the  fullest  description  of  it  is  contained  in 
the  following  lines,  taken  from  the  little  poem  addressed  to  Piso, 
which  is  to  be  found  at  the  end  of  some  editions  of  Liican,  and 
is  generally  ascribed  to  that  author  : 

Te  si  forte  jurat,  stmlionun  ponderc  fessum^ 
Non  lungucre  tamcn,  lusmqitv  movers  per  artem, 
Cdllidiorc  modo  tabulta  -ariatiir  apcrta 
Calculus.,  et  vifreo  peraguntiir  mitite  bclla, 
Ut  mveusmgrosy  mine  cl  niger  alliget  albos. 
Scd  tibi  quis  non  terga  iledit  ?  qitis  tc  dnce  ccssit 
Calculus  ?  nut  quis  nonpcrititrus  pcrdidit  ho  stem  ? 
Millc  rnodis  ucies  tua  dimical :  Hie  pctcnton 
Dum  fugit,  ipse  rapit :  longo  renft  illc  rcccssu 
Qui  itctit  in  spcculis:  hie  secommitiere  rwce 

48  THE  LETTERS       BOOK  VII. 

or  seeing  the  mimicry  of  her  pantomimes  ;  but 
that,  whenever  she  engaged  in  either  of  those 


Audet,  et  in  prcrdam  verrienfem  decipit  hostem 
Antipites  sub  it  tile  moras^  similisque  ligato 
Obligat  ipse  duos :  hie  ad  majora  movetitf, 
Ut  titus  et  fracta  prorumpat  in  agmina  mandra, 
Clausaque  dejecto  populatur  mcenia  vallo* 
Interea,  seflis  quamvfs  accerima  surgunt 
Proelia  militibi^  plena  tamen  ipse  phalange , 
Aut  etiam  pauco  spoliata  milite  vincis, 
Et  tibi  captivcc  resonat  manus  utraque  turbce. 

Ad  Pison.  Poemation, 

When,  to  relieve  the  labours  of  thy  mind, 

Thou  turn'st  from  deep  research  in  arts  refin'd, 

Not  in  soft  indolence  you  waste  the  hour, 

But  happier  genius  still  exerts  its  pow'r  ; 

To  mimic  war  the  radiant  troops  are  led, 

And  martial  ranks  the  varied  table  spread  ; 

There  sable  bands,  and  here  a  snow-white  train, 

With  doubtful  fate  of  war  the  fight  maintain. 

But  who  with  thee  shall  dare  dispute  the  field  ? 

Led  by  thy  hand,  what  warrior  knows  to  yield  ? 

Or  if  befall,   he  falls  with  glorious  pride, 

His  vanquish'd  foe  extended  by  his  side. 

Unnumber'd  stratagems  thy  forces  try  ; 

Now  artful  feign,  and  only  feign,  to  fly, 

Now  boldly  rushes,  midst  the  ranks  of  war, 

The  chief  who  view'd  the  slaught'ring  scene  from  far. 

This  bravely  daring  in  the  arduous  toil, 

Repels  the  host  advancing  to  the  spoil  ; 

While  cautious  that  moves  dreadful  on,  and  slow, 

And  fraudful  meditates  the  certain  blow. 

What  though  in  guise  a  slave  he  seems,  in  chains, 

Two  captives  he  in  durance  close  detains  : 

But  see,  yon  hero,  with  impetuous  haste, 

Bursts  thro'  the  ranks,  and  lays  the  ramparts  waste  ! 

While  thus  the,  mighty  battle  glows  around, 

And  prostrate  chiefs  bestrew  the  well-fought  ground, 

Full  and  unbroken,  lo  !  thy  squadrons  stand, 

Or  scarce  oi,e  warrior  lost  of  thy  command  ; 

The  captive  crowds  thy  victory  proclaim, 

Ai.d  foes  confess  thy  undisputed  fame. 


amusements,  she  constantly  dismissed  her  grand- 
son to  his  studies  :  a  dismission  which  proceeded, 
I  am  inclined  to  think,  as  much  out  of  a  cer- 
tain reverential  awe  she  felt  upon  those  occasions 
in  the  presence  of  the  youth,  as  from  her  affection 
towards  him.  I  was  a  good  deal  surprised,  as  I 
believe  you  will  be,  at  what  he  told  me  the  last 
time  the  pontifical  games'  were  exhibited.  As 
we  were  coming  out  of  the  theatre  together, 
where  we  had  been  entertained  with  her  panto- 
mimes, Do  you  know,  said  he,  this  is  the  first 
time  I  ever  saw  Quadratilldsfreedman  dance  ? 
Such  was  the  striking  declaration  her  grandson 
made  !  while  a  set  of  men,  of  a  far  diiferent  cha- 
racter, in  order  to  do  honour  to  Quadratilla 
(I  am  ashamed  to  call  it  honour)  with  the  lowest 
and  grossest  flattery,  were  running  up  and  down 
the  theatre,  affecting  the  utmost  admiration  and 
rapture  at  the  performances  of  these  her  panto- 
mimes, and  then  imitating,  in  musical  chant,  the 
mein  and  manner  of  their  lady  patroness.  But 
now  all  .that  these  theatrical  flatterers  have  ob- 
tained, in  return,  is  only  a  few  trifling  legacies, 
which  they  have  the  mortification  to  receive  from 
an  heir,  who  never  but  once  deigned  to  be  pre- 

c  The  priests,  as  well  as  other  magistrates,  exhibited  public 
games  to  the  people  when  they  entered  upon  their  office.  It 
should  seem,  by  what  follows,  that  Quadratilla  had  lent  her 
troop  of  pantomimes  to  honour  th«  celebration  of  these  pontifi- 
cal games. 

60  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VIL 

sent  at  Quadrat-ilia's  shews. — I  send  you  this  ac- 
count, as  knowing  you  are  not  displeased  to  hear 
the  news  of  the  town,  and  because,  when  any 
occurrence  has  rejoiced  me,  I  love  to  renew  it 
again,  by  communicating  it  to  my  friends.  And 
indeed  the  laudable  affection  which  Quadratilla 
has  shewn  in  her  will  to  her  two  heirs,  and  the 
particular  honour  done  therein  to  that  excellent 
youth  her  grandson,  has  afforded  me  a  very 
sensible  satisfaction ;  as  I  am  extremely  glad 
too,  that  the  house  which  once  belonged  to  Cas- 
sius,  the  founder  and  chief  of  the  Cassiand  school, 
-is  come  into  the  possession  of  a  person  not  less 
respectable  than  its  former  master.  For  my  wor- 
thy friend  will  fill  it  as  he  ought,  and  its  ancient 
lustre  will  again  revive  under  Quadratus,  who,  I 
am  persuaded,  will  prove  as  eminent  an  orator, 
as  Cassius  was  a  lawyer.  Farewel. 


VV  HAT  numbers  of  learned  men  does  modesty 
conceal,  or  love  of  retirement  withdraw,  from 
public  fame  !  and  yet,  when  we  are  going  to 
speak  or  recite  in  numerous  assemblies,  it  is  the 


d  A  famous  lawyer,  who  flourished  in  the  reign  of  the  empe- 
ror Claudius :  those  who  followed  his  juridical  opinions  were 
Said  to  be  Cassiani,  or  of  the  school  of  Cassius. 


judgment  only  of  popular  and  ostentatious  ta- 
lents, of  which  we  stand  in  awe  ;  whereas  we  have 
more  reason  to  revere  the  decisions  of  those  who 
cultivate  the  sciences  in  contemplative  life,  and 
form  their  opinions  of  works  of  genius,  in  privacy 
and  silence,  undistracted  by  the  noise  of  clamo- 
rous assemblies  :  an  observation  which  I  give  you. 
upon  experience.  Terentius  Junior,  having  pas- 
sed through  the  military  offices  suitable  to  a  per- 
son of  equestrian  rank,  and  executed- with  great 
integrity  the  post  of  receiver-general  of  the  reve*- 
nues  in  Narbonensiaii  Gaul,a  retired  to  his  estate ; 
preferring  the  enjoyment  of  an  uninterrupted 
tranquillity,  to  those  honours  which  his  services 
had  merited.  He  invited  me  lately  to  his  house, 
where,  looking  upon  him  only  as  a  worthy  mas- 
ter of  a  family  and  an  industrious  farmer,  I  start- 
ed such  rural  topics  of  conversation,  in  which  I 
imagined  he  was  most  versed.  But  he  soon 
turned  the  discourse,  and  displaying  a  great  fund 
of  knowledge,  entered  upon  subjects  of  literature. 
I  was  astonished  at  the  elegance  with  which  he  ex- 
pressed himself  both  in  Latin  and  Greek  !  for  lie 
is  so  perfectly  well  skilled  in  each,  that  whichever 
he  speaks,  seems  to  be  the  language  wherein  he 
particularly  excels.  How  extensive  is  his  read- 
ing ! 

*  One  of  the  four  principal  divisions  of  ancient  Ga,ul :  it  ex- 
tended from  the  Fyrenaean  mountains,  which  separate  France 
from  Spain,  to  the  Alp?,  which  divide  it  from  Italy,  and  com- 
prehended Lunguedoc,  Provence,  Datiphiny,  and  Savoy. 

52  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VII. 

ing  !  how  tenacious  his  memory  !  You  would  not 
imagine  him  the  inhabitant  of  an  ignorant  coun- 
try village,  but  a  citizen  of  the  learned  Athens. 
In  short,  his  conversation  has  increased  my  soli- 
citude concerning  my  works,  and  taught  me  to 
revere  the  judgment  of  these  studious  country 
gentlemen,  as  much  as  that  of  more  known  and 
distinguished  literati.  Let  me  persuade  you  to 
consider  them  in  the  same  light ;  for  believe  me, 
upon  a  careful  observation,  you  will  often  find  in 
the  literary,  as  well  as  military  world,  most 
powerful  abilities  concealed  under  a  rustic  garb. 

To  MAX i ii us. 

In  E  lingering  disorder  of  a  friend  of  mine  gave 
me  occasion  lately  to  reflect,  that  we  are  always 
in  the  best  moral  disposition  when  afflicted  with 
sickness.  Where  is  the  man,  who,  labouring  un- 
der the  pain  of  any  distemper,  is  either  solicited 
by  avarice,  or  enflamed  with  lust  ?  At -such  a  sea- 
son he  is  neither  the  slave  of  love,  nor  the  fool  of 
ambition ;  he  looks  with  indifference  upon  the 
charms  of  wealth,  and  is  contented  with  ever  so 
small  a  portion  of  it,  as  being  upon  the  point  of 
leaving  even  that  little.  It  is  then  he  recollects 


BOOK  VII.          OF  PLINY.  53 

there  are  Gods,  and  that  he  himself  is  but  a 
mana :  no  mortal  is  then  the  object  of  his  envy, 
his  admiration,  or  his  contempt ;  and  having  no 
malice  to  gratify,  the  tales  of  slander  excite  not 
his  attention :  his  dreams  run  only  upon  the  re- 
freshment of  bathsb  and  fountains.  These  are 
the  supreme  objects  of  his  thoughts  and  wishes, 
while  he  resolves,  if  he  should  recover,  to  pass 
the  remainder  of  his  days  disengaged  from  the 
cares  and  business  of  the  world  ;  that  is,  in  inno- 
cence and  happiness.  I  may,  therefore,  lay  down 
to  you  anpl  myself  a  short  rule,  which  the  philo- 
sophers have  endeavoured  to  inculcate  at  the  ex- 
pence  of  many  words,  and  even  many  volumes ; 
that  "we  should  realize  in  health,  those  resolu- 
11  tions  we  form  in  sickness."  Farewel. 


*  The  awakening  power  of  adversity,  in  general,  is  so  beau- 
tifully described  by  the  banished  duke  in  Shakespeare's  As  you 
like  it,  that  it  will  not,  perhaps,  be  deemed  foreign  to  the  pur- 
pose to  produce  it  as  a  parallel  passage,  especially  as  the  senti- 
ment in  the  second  line  is  exactly  the  same  with  this  of  Pliny's 
before  us  : 

This  is  no  flattery  :  these  are  counsellors 
That  feelingly  persuade  me  "what  I  am. 
Sweet  are  the  uses  of  adversity, 
Which,  like  the  toad,   ugly  and  venomous, 
Wears  yet  a  precious  jewel  in  his  head. 

Act  2,  Sc.  1. 

b  The  ancient  physicians  advised  bathing  as  of  sovereign 
efficacy  in  various  disorders. 

VOL  II.  E 

54  THE  LETTERS       BOOK  VII, 

To  SURA. 

I  HE  present  recess  from  business   affords   you 
leisure  to  communicate,  and  m$  to  receive,  infop-, 
mation.     I  am  very  desirous  to  know  your  opi- 
nion concerning  spectres ;  whether  you   believe 
they  have  a  real  existence,  and  are  a  sort  of  di- 
vinities, or  are  only  the  visionary  impressions  of 
a  terrified   imagination  ?    What  particularly  in- 
clines me  to  give  credit  to  their  reality,  is  a  story* 
which  I  lately  heard  of  Curtius  Rufus.     When 
he  was  in  low  circumstances,  and  unknown  in  the 
world,  he  attended  the  governor  of  Africa  into 
that  province.     One  evening,  as  he  was  walking 
in  the  public  portico,  he  was  extremely  surprised 
with  the  apparition  of  a  woman,  whose  figure  and 
beauty  were  more  than  human.     She  told  him 
she  was  the   tutelar  power  who  presided   over 
Africa,  and  was  come  to  inform  him  of  the  future 
events  of  his  life :  that  he  should  go  back  to 
Rome,  where  he  should  be  raised  to  the  highest 
honours  ;  should  return  to  that  province  invested 
with  the  proconsular  dignity,   and  there  should 
die.      Accordingly,  every   circumstance    of  this 
prediction  was  actually  accomplished.     It  is  said, 


4  This  story  is  likewise  related  by  Tacitus  in  the  1 1th  Vook 
of  his  annals,  chap.  21. 


farther,  that,  upon  his  arrival  at  Carthage,  as  he 
was  coming  out  of  the  ship,  the  same  figure  ac- 
costed him  upon  the  shore.  It  is  certain,  at  least, 
that  being  seized  with  a  fit  of  illness,  though 
there  were  no  symptoms  in  his  case  that  led  his 
attendants  to  despair,  he  instantly  gave  up  all 
hope  of  recovery ;  judging,  it  should  seem,  of  the 
truth  of  the  future  part  of  the  prophecy,  by  that 
which  had  already  been  fulfilled,  and  of  the  mis- 
fortune which  threatened  him,  by  the  success 
which  he  had  experienced.  To  this  story,  let  me 
add  another,  not  less  remarkable  than  the  former, 
but  attended  with  more  terrifying  circumstances  : 
and  I  will  give  it  you  exactly  as  it  .was  related  to 
me.  There  was  at  Athensb  a  large  and  commo- 
dious house,  which  lay  under  the  disrepute  of 
being  haunted.  In  the  dead  of  the  night  a  noise, 
resembling  the  clashing  of  iron,  was  frequently 
heard,  which,  .if  you  listened  more  attentively, 
sounded  like  the  rattling  of  chains.  At 
seemed  distant,  but  approached  nearer  by  degrees, 
till  a  spectre  appeared  in  the  form  of  an  old  man, 
extremely  meagre  and  ghastly,  with  a  long  beard 
and  dishevelled  hair,  rattling  the  chains  on  his 
feet  and  hands.  The  distressed  inhabitant  in  the 
mean  while,  passed  their  nights  under  the  most 
dreadful  terrors  imaginable.  This,  as  it  broke 


b  Lucian  ridicules  a  story  pretty  much  resembling  this,  but 
lays  the  scene  of  it  in  Corinth.  Vid.  Lucian.  Philopseud. 


their  rest,  ruined  also  their  health,  and  brought 
on  distempers,  which,  together  with  their  con- 
stant horrors  of  mind,  proved  in  the  end  fatal  to 
their  lives.  Even  in  the  day  time,  though  the 
spirit  did  not  then  appear,  yet  the  impression  re- 
mained so  strong  upon  their  imaginations,  that 
it  still  seemed  before  their  eyes,  and  kept  them  in 
perpetual  alarm.  By  these  means  the  house  was 
at  last  deserted,  as  being  deemed  absolutely  un- 
inhabitable ;  so  that  it  was  now  entirely  aban- 
doned to  the  ghost.  However,  in  hopes  that 
some  tenant  might  be  found  who  was  ignorant 
of  this  very  alarming  circumstance  which  attend- 
ed it,  a  bill  was  put  up,  giving  notice  that  it  was 
either  to  be  let  or  sold.  It  happened  that  Athe- 
nodorus,  the  philosopher,  came  to  Athens  at  this 
time,  and  reading  the  bill,  enquired  the  price. -— 
The  extraordinary  cheapness  raised  his  suspicion ; 
nevertheless,  when  he  heard  the  whole  story,  he 
was  so  far  from  being  discouraged,  that  he  was 
mote  strongly  inclined  to  hire  it,  and,  in  short, 
actually  did  so.  When  it  grew  towards  even- 
ing, he  ordered  a  couch  to  be  prepared  for  him 
in  the  fore  part  of  the  house,  and  after  calling 
for  a  light,  together  with  his  pencil  and  tablets, 
he  directed  all  his  people  to  retire.  But,  that  his 
mind  might  not,  for  want  of  employment,  be  open 
to  the  vain  terrors  of  imaginary  noises  and  spirits, 
he  applied  himself  to  writing  with  the  utmost  at- 

BOOK  VII.  'OF  PLINY.  57 

tention.  The  first  part  of  the  night  passed  in 
usual  silence,  when  at  length  the  chains  began 
to  rattle  :  however,  he  neither  lifted  up  his  eyes, 
nor  laid  down  his  pencil,  but  diverted  his  obser- 
vation by  pursuing  his  studies  with  greater  ear- 
nestness. The  noise  increased,  and  advanced 
nearer,  till  it  seemed  at  the  door,  and  at  last  in 
the  chamber.  He  looked  up,  and  saw  the  ghost 
exactly  in  the  manner  it  had  been  described  to 
him  :  it  stood  before  him,  beckoning  with  the 
linger.  Athenodorus  made  a  sign  with  his  hand, 
that  it  should  wait  a  little,  and  threw  his  eyes 
again  upon  his  papers ;  but  the  ghost  still  rattling 
his  chains  in  his  ears,  he  looked  up  and  saw  him 
beckoning  as  before.  Upon  this  he  immediately 
arose,  and,  with  the  light  in  his  hand,  followed  it, 
The  spectre  slowly  stalked  along,  as  if  encurriT 
bered  with  his  chains,  and  turning  into  the  area 
of  the  house,  suddenly  vanished.  Athenodorus, 
being  thus  deserted,  made  a  mark  with  some 
grass  and  leaves  where  the  spirit  left  him.  The 
next  day,  he  gave  information  to  the  magistrates, 
and  advised  them  to  order  that  spot  to  be  dug 
up.  This  was  accordingly  done,  and  the  skele- 
ton of  a  man  in  chains  was  there  found  ;  for,  the 
body  having  lain  a  considerable  time  in  the  ground, 
was  putrified,  and  had  mouldered  away  from  the 
fetters.  The  bones  being  collected  together, 
publicly  buried  ;  and  thus,  after  the  ghos.t 
E  :3  was. 

5&  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  VII. 

was  appeased  by  the  proper  ceremonies,  the  house 
was  haunted  no  more.  This  story  I  believe  upon 
the  credit  of  others  :  what  J  am  going  to  men- 
tion,  I  give  you  upon  my  own.  I  have  a  freed- 
man  named  Marcus,  who  is  by  no  means  illite- 
rate. One0  night,  as  he  and  his  younger  brother 
were  lying  together,  he  fancied  he  saw  some  per- 
son upon  his  bed,  who  took  out  a  pair  of  scissars, 
and  cut  off  the  hair  from  the  top  part  of  his 
head  :  in  the  morning,  it  appeared  the  boy's  hair 
was  actually  cut,  and  the  clippings  lay  scattered 
about  the  floor.  A  short  time  after,  an  event  of 
the  like  nature  contributed  to  give  credit  to  the 
former  story.  A  young  lad  of  my  family  was 
sleeping  in  his  apartment  with  the  rest  of  his 
companions,  when  two  persons,  clad  in  white, 
came  in,  as  he  says,  through  the  windows,  and 
cut  off  his  hair  as  he  lay ;  and  having  finished  the 


c  Those  who  are  unacquainted  with  the  genius  of  the  religion 
of  ancient  Rome,  may  be  inclined  to  think  meanly  of  our  au- 
thor's judgment,  from  this  and  the  following  story ;  but  when 
it  is  remembered  that  the  greatest  characters  which  we  meet 
with  among  that  illustrious  people,  are  all  strongly  marked 
with  a  vein  of  superstition,  no  particular  charge  of  weak  cre- 
dulity can,  with  justice,  be  brought  from  hence  against  Pliny. 
The  truth  is,  it  was  a  national  turn,  and  countenanced  by  the 
constitution  of  their  government,  insomuch  that  omens,  even 
of  the  lowest  kind,  were  considered  previous  to  every  step  either 
of  foreign  or  domestic  concern  :  and  the  wisest  and  gravest  of 
their  historians,  the  judicious  Livy  not  excepted,  have  given 
into  accounts  of  this  nature.  Even  a  noble  historian  among 
our  own  countrymen  has  not  scrupled  to  insert  a  relation  of 
the  same  kind  and  credibility,  in  his  history  of  the  civil  wars. 


operation,  returned  the  same  way  they  entered. 
The  next  morning  it  was  found  that  this  boy 
had  been  served  just  as  the  other,  and  with  the 
very  same  circumstance  of  the  hair  spread  about 
the  room.  Nothing  remarkable,  indeed,  followed 
these  events,  unless  that  I  escaped  a  prosecution, 
in  which,  if  Domitian  (during  whose  reign  this 
happened)  had  lived  some  time  longer,  I  should 
certainly  have  been  involved.  For,  after  the 
death  of  that  emperor,  articles  of  impeachment 
against  me  were  found  in  his  scrutore,  which 


had  been  exhibited  by  Carus.  It  may  therefore 
be  conjectured,  since  it  is  customary  for  persons 
under  any  public  accusation  to  let  their  hair 
grow,  this  cutting  off  the  hair  of  my  servants, 
was  a  sign  I  should  escape  the  imminent  danger 
that  threatened  me.  Let  me  desire  you  then  ma- 
turely to  consider  this  question.  The  subject 
merits  your  examination ;  as,  I  trust,  I  am  not 
myself  altogether  unworthy  to  participate  of  the 
abundance  of  your  superior  knowledge.  And 
though  you  should,  with  your  usual  scepticism, 
balance  between  two  opinions,  yet  I  hope  you  will 
throw  the  weightier  reasons  On  one  side,  lest, 
whilst  I  consult  you  in  order  to  have  my  doubt 
settled,  you  should  dismiss  me  in  the  same  sus- 
pense and  indecision  that  occasioned  you  the 
present  application.  Farewel. 


60  THE  LETTERS       BOOK  VII. 



IHERE  are,  it  seems,  certain  persons  who,  in 
your  company,  have  blamed  me,  as  being,  upon 
all  occasions,  too  lavish  in  commendation  of  my 
friends.  I  not  only  acknowledge  the  charge, 
but  glory  in  it ;  for  can  there  be  a  nobler  error 
than  an  overflowing  benevolence  ?  But  still  who 
are  these,  let  me  ask,  that  are  better  acquainted 
with  my  friends  than  I  am  myself?  Yet  grant 
there  are  any  such,  why  will  they  deny  me  the 
satisfaction  of  so  pleasing  an  error  ?  For,  sup- 
posing my  friends  deserve  not  the  high  enco- 
miums I  give  them,  certainly  I  am  happy  in  be- 
lieving they  do.  Let  them  recommend  then  this 
ungenerous  discernment  to  those  who  imagine 
(and  their  number  is  not  inconsiderable)  that 
they  shew  their  judgment  when  they  indulge 
their  censure.  As  for  myself,  they  will  never 
persuade  me  that  I  can  love  my  friends3  too  welj. 


3  Balzac,  with  his  usual  happiness  of  allusion,  observes,  "  // 

"  y  a  des  rivieres  qvi  ne  font  jamais  tant  de  bien  que  quand  elles 

"  st  dtbordent ;  de  meme  I'amitie  n'a  rien  de  meilleur  que  Vexces." 




IT  would  raise  your  laughter  first,  and  then 
your  indignation,  and  perhaps,  after  having  com- 
posed yourself  a  little,  you  would  be  inclined  to 
laugh  again,  when  you  read  what  I  am  going  to 
mention,  and  which  you  will  scarcely  credit  with- 
out occular  inspection.  I  lately  observed,  in  the 
Tiburtine  road,*  near  the  first  mile-stone,  a  mo- 
nument erected  to  the  memory  of  Pallas,b  with 
the  following  inscription:  THE  SENATE  DE- 

HONOUR.  I  am  not  indeed  apt  to  wonder  at 
distinctions  of  this  sort,  which  are  oftener  the 


*  The  road  leading  to  Tivoli,  in  Campania. 

b  He  was  at  first  a  slave  in  the  court  of  Claudius  Caesar,  who 
afterwards  gave  him  his  freedom,  and  raised  him  to  his  chief 
favour.  The  patrons  mentioned  in  this  inscription  are  that 
emperor  and  his  consort  Agrippina,  to  whom  Pallas  had  like- 
wise recommended  himself  by  some  signal  services. 

c  The  senate,  as  a  mark  of  honourable  distinction,  sometimes 
decreed  the  privilege  of  wearing  the  ornaments  peculiar  to  cer- 
tain dignities,  to  persons  who  had  not  enjoyed  the  office  to 
•which  those  ornaments  were  annexed. 

4  About  £  320,000  of  our  money. 

63  THE  LETTERS       BOOK  VII, 

gift  of  Fortune  than  of  Judgment ;  but  I  could 
not  help  reflecting,  when  I  read  this  inscription, 
how  contemptible  and  ridiculous  are  those  ho- 
nours, which  are  thus  sometimes  thrown  away 
upon  dirt  and  infamy ;  which  such  a  rascal,  in 
short,  had  the  assurance  both  to  accept  and  to 
refuse,  and  then  set  himself  forth  to  posterity, 
as  an  example  of  singular  moderation  !  Yet 
why  should  it  raise  my  indignation  ?  rather  let 
me  treat  it  as  a  matter  of  derision,  that  persons 
of  this  vile  character  may  not  flatter  themselves 
they  have  obtained  any  thing  truly  enviable, 
when  their  honours  only  expose  them  to  severer 
ridicule.  Farewel. 


I  AM  extremely  concerned  to  find  that  you  have 
lost  your  pupil ;  a  youth,  as  your  letter  assures 
me,  of  such  great  hopes.  Can  I  want  to  be  in- 
formed that  his  sickness  and  death  must  have  in- 
terrupted your  studies,  knowing,  as  I  do,  with 
what  exactness  you  fill  up  every  duty  of  life,  and 
how  warm  your  affection  is  to  all  those  to  whom 
you  give  your  esteem  ?  As  for  myself,  the  usual 
business  of  Rome  pursues  me  to  this  place;  and 
I  am  not  out  of  the  reach  of  people  even  here, 



who  appeal  to  me  either  as  their  judge,  or  their 
arbitrator.  Nor  is  this  all ;  for,  not  only  the  far- 
mers claim  a  sort  of  prescription  to  try  my  pa- 
tience as  they  please  hy  their  continual  complaints; 
but  also  the  necessity  of  letting  out  my  farms 
gives  me  much  trouble,  as  it  is  exceedingly  diffi- 
cult to  find  proper  tenants.  For  these  reasons  I 
can  only  study  by  snatches :  still  however  I  do 
study  occasionally,  and  both  compose  and  read 
by  turns  :  but  my  reading  teaches  me,  by  a  very 
mortifying  comparison,  with  what  ill  success  I 
attempt  to  be  an  author  myself.  Though  indeed 
you  give  me  great  encouragement,  when  you 
compare  the  piece  I  wrote  in  vindication  of  He  I- 
vidiiiSy  to  the  oration  of  Demosthenes  against 
Midias.  I  confess  I  had  that  harangue  in  my 
view;  not  that  I  was  so  vain  and  absurd  as  to 
pretend  to  rival  it,  but  I  endeavoured  at  least  to 
imitate  it,  as  far  as  the  difference  of  our  sub- 
jects would  admit,  and  as  nearly  as  a  genius  of 
the  lowest  rank  can  copy  one  of  the  highest. 



CLAUDIUS  POLLIO    is  extremely  desirous  of 
your  friendship  ;  and  he  deserves  it,  not  only  be- 

64  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VII. 

cause  he  desires  it,  but  because  he  offers  you  his 
in  return :  as,  indeed,  few  ever  request  the  one, 
without  being  disposed  to  give  the  other.  He  is 
an  upright,  honest,  good-natured  man,  and  mo- 
dest, I  had  almost  said,  beyond  measure  ;  if,  in- 
deed, that  virtue  can  be  carried  to  excess.  We 
served  in  the  army  together,  when  he  commanded 
a  troop  of  horse ;  and  I  had  an  opportunity  of 
taking  a  nearer  view  of  his  character,,  than  merely 
what  his  being  my  fellow  officer  gave  me.  I  -was 
appointed  by  the  lieutenant-general  to  examine 
the  accounts  of  the  several  companies  ;  and  as  I 
discovered  many  instances  of  gross  avarice  and 
neglect  of  duty  in  some,  so  I  found  the  highest 
integrity  and  exactest  care  in  Pollio.  He  was  af- 
terwards promoted  to  very  considerable  employ- 
ments in  the  revenue ;  yet  no  temptations  could 
corrupt  the  innate  integrity  of  his  soul,  and  no 
prosperity  swell  his  breast  with  pride,  but  he 
preserved,  in  all  the  variety  of  posts  through 
which  he  passed,  his  honour  and  his  humanity 
unimpeached ;  to  which  I  will  add,  he  support- 
ed the  fatigues  of  business  with  the  same  firm- 
ness of  mind  he  now  discovers  in  his  retreat. — 
He  once,  indeed,  quitted  his  retirement  for  a 
short  time,  greatly  to  his  credit ;  being  called 
forth  by  my  worthy  friend  Corellius  to  his 
assistance,  in  purchasing  and  dividing  those  lands 
•which  were  given  to  the  public  by  the  liberality 

3  of 

BOOK  VII.          OF  PLINY.  65 

of  the  emperor  Nerva.3  And  could  there  be  any 
circumstance  more  to  his  honour,  than  to  be  thus 
particularly  singled  out  as  his  coadjutor,  by  a 
person  of  so  eminent  a  character  as  Corellius  ? 
You  may  judge  how  faithfully  he  reveres  the  sa^ 
cred  ties  of  friendship  by  the  last  wills6  of  several 
of  his  friends,  particularly  that  of  Musonius  Bas- 
sus,  a  man  of  distinguished  merit.  Pollio  (for  he 
cultivates  polite  literature  as  well  as  every  other 
valuable  qualification)  has  very  gratefully  endea- 
voured to  perpetuate  and  extend  the  memory  of 
Bassus,  by  publishing  an  account  of  his  life ;  a 
circumstance  too  uncommon  and  too  generous, 
not  to  be  particularly  applauded  ;  since  the  gene- 
rality of  the  world  seldom  mention  the  dead,  un- 
less to  complain  of  them.0  Receive  then  this 
worthy  man,  greatly  desirous,  believe  me,  of  your 
amity,  with  warm  embraces,  and  even  invite  him 
to  accept  of  it  as  what  you  owe  him ;  for,  he  who 
makes  the  first  advances  towards  friendship,  can- 
not so  properly  be  said  to  solicit  as  to  claim  a 
return.  Farewel. 


*  Nerva  restored  to  the  Romans  all  that  Domitian  had  plun- 
dered them  of;  and  gave  a  very  large  sum  of  money  to  be  laid 
out  in  the  purchase  of  lands  for  the  support  of  decayed  fami- 

b  See  letter  xx.  of  this  book,   note  b. 

c  Pliny  seems  to  allude  to  the  Captatores,  or  legacy  hunters: 
a  contemptible  character,  extremely  common  among  the  Ro- 
mans in  the  decline  of  their  state,  when  the  prevailing  lux  irv 
oflhe  times  rendered  too  many  of  them,  in  order  to  supply 


66  THE  LETTERS       BOOK  VII. 


I  REJOICE  that  the  arrival  of  my  friend  Tiro  was 
acceptable  to  you;  but  particularly,  that  you 
made  use,  as  your  letter  informs  me,  of  the  op- 
portunity which  the  presence  of  the  proconsul 
afforded  you,  of  manumizingb  several  of  your 
slaves.  For,  as  I  wish  to  see  our  corporation0 
improved  by  every  possible  means,  so  particu- 
larly by  an  increase  of  citizens,  as  that,  of  all 
others,  is  the  strongest  ornament  a  community  can 
receive.  I  am  pleased,  too,  (not  out  of  a  spirit  of 
vanity,  however  I  confess  I  am  pleased)  with  what 
you  add,  that  both  you  and  I  were  highly  com- 
plimented, in  the  acknowledgments  which  were 
made  upon  this  occasion ;  for,  as  Xenophon  ob- , 
serves,  the  voice  of  praise  is  sweet ;  especially 
when  we  think  we  deserve  it.  Farewel. 


their  extravagance,  capable  of  any  meanness  to  obtain  a  pecu- 
niary remembrance  in  the  wills  of  their  wealthy  acquaintance, 
and  too  much  mortified  not  to  complain  when  they  found  them- 
selves disappointed. 

a  His  wile  Calphurnia's  grandfather. 

b  See  letter  xvi-  of  this  book. 

c  Comum. 




I  STRONGLY  presage  (and  I  am  persuaded  I 
shall  not  be  deceived)  that  your  histories  will  be 
immortal.  I  ingenuously  own,  therefore/  I  so 


d  As  some  ingenious  writers  have  affected  to  draw  a  com- 
parison between  our  author  and  Cicero,  to  the  disadvantage  of 
the  former;  it  will  not,  it  is  hoped,  be  thought  any  want  of 
reverence  to  a  character,  which  deserves  the  highest  veneration 
from  every  admirer  of  the  fine  arts,  to  set  before  the  reader  an. 
instance,  where  Pliny  greatly  outshines  that  noble  example  he 
was,  upon  all  occasions,  so  desirous  of  copying.  There  is  a 
letter  of  Cicero  extant  for  the  same  purpose  as  this  of  Pliny's 
addressed  to  his  friend  Lucceius,*  who  was  writing  the  history 
of  his  own  times.  The  sensible  Montaign  condemns  both  as  in- 
stances of  immoderate  ambition  ;  and  observes,  that  "  f  for- 
**  tune,  as  it  \rere  in  pure  spite,  has  taken  care  to  hand  down 
*'  to  us  the  vanity  of  these  requests,  while  she  has  long  since 
**  destroyed  the  histories  they  solicited."  Let  it  be  remarked, 
however,  injustice  to  our  author,  that,  upon  a  comparison  of 
the  two  letters,  the  ambition  of  Pliny  will  appear  far  more  rea- 
sonable than  that  of  Cicero;  for  the  latter  does  not  scruple  to 
press  his  friend  to  transgress  the  rules  of  history,  and  break 
through  the  bounds  of  truth  in  his  favour.  Te  plane  etiam  at- 
fjue  etiam  Togo,  ut  <$•  ornas  ea  "vehement ins  etiam  quam  fortassc 
mentis,  4"  z'n  ca  kg&  historice  negliga-s,  amorique  nostro  pluscu- 
lum  etiam  quam  concedit  leritas  largire :  whereas  Pliny,  with  a 
far  nobler  spirit,  expressly  declares  he  does  not  desire  Tacitus 
to  heighten  the  fact,  and  that  actions  of  real  worth  need  only 
to  be  set  in  their  true  light.  In  Cicero's  letter,  we  read  the 
extravagant  dictates  of  the  most  immoderate  ambition  ;  and  he 
himself  confesses  he  had  not  the  assurance  to  look  his  friend  in 
the  face  while  he  expressed  them  :  Coram  me  tecitm  eadetit 
licec  agtre  scepe  coiiaiitem  dtteruit  pudor :  in  Pliny's,  we  see  no- 
thing but  what  is  agreeable  to  cool  sense,  and  the  honest  am- 
bition of  one  who  was  conscious  he  had  acted  well,  and  deii- 
'rous  posterity  should  know  it. 

*  Ep.  fam.  I  5.  12,  f  Tom.  i-  328- 

68  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  VII. 

much  the  more  earnestly  wish  to  find  a  place  in 
them.  If  we  are  generally  careful  to  have  our 
persons  represented  by  the  best  artists,  ought  we 
not  to  desire  that  our  actions  may  be  related  and 
celebrated  by  an  author  of  your  distinguished 
abilities  ?  In  view  to  this,  I  acquaint  you  with 
the  following  aifair,  which,  though  it  cannot  have 
escaped  your  attention,  as  it  is  mentioned  in  the 
public*  journals,  still  I  acquaint  y*ou  with  it,  that 
you  may  be  the  more  sensible  how  agreeable  it 
will  be  to  me,  that  this  action,  greatly  heightened 
by  the  hazard  which  attended  it,  should  receive 
an  additional  lustre  from  the  testimony  of  so 
bright  a  genius.  The  senate  appointed  Heren- 
uius  Senecio,  and  myself,  counsel  for  the  province 
of  Bcetica,  in  their  impeachment  of  Boebius 


e  Whether  Pliny  means  by  the  Publica  acta,  the  journal  of 
the  senate,  or  what  Tacitus**  and  Suetoniusf  call  the  Diurna 
acta,  may  admit  of  a  doubt.  The  former  seems  to  have  been 
exactly  in  the  nature  of  our  votes  of  the  house  of  commons, 
wherein  a  short  account  was  given  to  the  public  of  what  passed 
in  the  senate  ;  the  latter  appears  very  much  to  resemble  our 
Gazette,  being  an  authorized  narrative  of  the  transactions  wor- 
$hy  of  notice  which  happened  in  Rome.  Petronius  has  given 
us  the  form  of  the  latter  of  these,  in  his  account  of  Trimalchio  j 
and  as  it  may  not,  perhaps,  be  unentertaining  to  the  English 
reader,  to  see  how  exactly  a  Roman  newspaper  runs  in  the  style 
of  a  modern  one,  the  following  is  an  article  or  two  out  of  it. 

"  On  the  26th  of  July,  30  boys  and  40  girls  were  born  at 
"  Trimalchio's  estate  at  Cuma." 

"  At  the  same  time,  a  slave  was  put  to  death  for  uttering 
"  disrespectful  words  against  his  lord." 

"  The  same  day,  a  fire  broke  out  in  Pompey's  gardens,  which 
"  began  in  the  night,  in  the  stewards  apartment."  Petron. 
satyr,  p.  196,  ed.  Var. 

*  Aonal.  30, 31.  f  In  J.  Casar,  20. 


Massa.  He  was  condemned,  and  the  house  or- 
dered his  effects  to  be  seized  into  the  hands  of 
the  public  officer.  Shortly  after,  Senecio  having 
earnt  that  the  consuls  intended  to  sit  to  hear  pe- 
titions, came  to  me,  and  proposed  that  we  should 
go  together,  and  address  them  with  the  same 
unanimity  we  executed  the  office  which  had  been 
enjoined  us,  that  they  would  not  suffer  Massa's 
effects  to  be  dissipated  by  those  who  were  ap- 
pointed to  preserve  them.  I  answered,  that  as 
we  had  been  counsel  in  this  cause  by  order  of  the 
senate,  I  would  recommend  it  to  his  consideration, 
whether  it  would  be  proper  for  us,  after  sentence 
had  passed,  to  interpose  any  farther.  "You  are 
"  at  liberty,"  said  he,  "  to  prescribe  what  bounds 
"  you  please  to  yourself,  who  have  no  particular 
"  connexions  with  the  province,  except  what  re- 
"  suit  from  your  late  services  to  them  ;  but  they 
"  have  a  much  stronger  claim  upon  me,  who  was 
"  born  there,  and  enjoyed  the  post  of  qusestor 
"  among  them."  If  such,  I  replied,  was  his  de- 
termined resolution,  I  was  ready  to  attend  him, 
that,  whatever  resentment  should  be  the  conse- 
quence, it  might  not  fall  singly  upon  himself. — 
Accordingly,  we  went  to  the  consuls,  where  Sene- 
cio declared  what  he  thought  proper  upon  the 
occasion ;  to  which  I  subjoined  a  few  words  on 
my  part.  We  had  scarcely  ended,  when  Massa, 
complaining  that  Senecio  had  not  acted  against 
VOL.  IL  F  him 

70  THE  LETTERS       BOOK  VII. 

him  with  the  fidelity  of  an  advocate,  but  the  bit- 
terness of  an  enemy,  desired  he  might  be  at  liber- 
ty to  prosecute  him  for  treason/     The  whole  as- 

f  The  reader  will  undoubtedly  be  surprised  to  find  a  prosecu- 
tion of  treason,  founded  merely  upon  a  suggestion  of  rnisconduc 
in  the  management  of  a  private  trial.  But  this  difficulty  will  be 
cleared,  perhaps,  by  considering  the  character  of  Domitian,  in 
whose  reign  this  transaction  happened.  To  shew  any  dislike  to 
those  who  were  the  favourites  of  that  infamous  emperor,  was 
construed  by  him  into  an  act  of  treason  against  himself.  lie 
could  gather  that  poisonous  weed  (as  our  author  in  his  panegyric 
strongly  expresses  it)  even  from  the  barren  sands  of  the  theatre 
(crimina  majestatis  hi  arena  co/ligcbat ;)  for  not  to  admire  even 
his  gladiators,  was  deemed,  in  those  wretched  limes,  an  act  of 
disloyalty.  If  therefore  Massawas  in  the  good  graces  of  Domi- 
tian, it  would  have  been  very  easy  for  the  former,  to  strain  the 
honest  zeal  which  Senecio  had  shewn  in  conducting  this  cause 
into  an  instance  of  disrespect  to  the  emperor.  And  the  cha- 
racter which  Tacitus  gives  of  this  Massa  strongly  supports  that 
supposition;  for  he  describes  him  as  the  bane  of  every  good 
man,  and  an  instrument  of  those  calamities  which  the  Romans 
suffered  under  Domitian  ;  optima  caique  c.ritiosus,  says  he,  4'  *'» 
caiisas  malorttm  quce  tulimus.  [Tacit,  hist.  1.  4.  50.]  It  must  be 
owned,  however,  that  the  expression  in  the  original  (postulatio 
impietatis)  does  not  so  absolutely  and  necessarily  imply  a  pro- 
secution of  treason,  but  that  it  may  admit  of  another  interpre- 
tation. Accordingly,  a  gentleman  of  distinguished  learning, 
who  favoured  the  translator  wiih  his  sentiments  upon  this  pas- 
sage, has  offered  a  conjecture  much  too  ingenious  to  be  sup- 
pressed. "  It  was  the  practice  (he  observes)  of  the  ancients, 
"  that  all  deposits,  trusts,  sequestrations,  wills,  &c.  should  be 
"  lodged  in  the  most  secure  and  unsuspected  places;  accord- 
"  ingly  they  chose  their  temples  for  that  purpose,  and  the  priests 
"  were  of  course  the  legal  sequestrators ; 

Nos  ibl  apnd  Tlieotimum  omne  aitrum  dcposuimus, 
Qiti  illic  sacerdos  est  in  Diana;  Ephesice. 

Plaut.  Bacch. 

"  And  of  this  the  classic  and  civil-law  books  furnish  abundant 
"  proof.  He  thinks,  therefore,  that  an  insinuation  that  Massa 
•'  had  been  tampering  with  the  church  to  betray  this  jidei- 
"'•  cowmiasiim,  and  that  the  security  became  suspicious,  might 

**  possibly 


sembly  was  struck  with  the  utmost  consternation, 
and  horror  at  this  motion.  I  immediately  rose 
up  :  "  Most  noble  consuls,"  said  I,  "I  am  afraid 
"  it  should  seem  that  Massa  has  tacitly  charged 
"  me  with  having  favoured  him  in  this  cause, 
"  since  he  did  not  think  proper  to  join  me  with 
"  Senecio  in  the  desired  prosecution."  This 
short  speech  was  extremely  well  received  by  those 
who  were  present;  as  it  soon  afterwards  got 
abroad,  and  was  publicly  mentioned  with  general 
applause.  The  late  emperor  Nerva  (who,  though 
at  that  time  in  a  private  station,  yet  interested 
himself  in  every  meritorious  action  which  con- 
cerned the  public)  wrote  an  admirable  letter  to 
me  upon  the  occasion,  wherein  he  not  only  con- 
gratulated me,  but  the  age,  which  had  produced 
an  example  so  much  in  the  spirit  (as  he  was 
pleased  to  call  it)  of  better  days.  But,  what- 
ever the  fact  be,  it  is  in  your  power  to  heighten 
and  spread  the  lustre  of  it ;  though  far  am  I  from 
desiring  you  would  in  the  least  exceed  the  bounds 
of  reality.  History  ought  to  be  guided  by  strict 
truth,  and  worthy  actions  require  nothing  more. 

*'  possibly  carry  an  action  of  impiety."  However,  upon  a  closer 
examination  of  the  letter,  and  comparing  it  with  the  history  of 
that  age,  the  interpretation  adopted  in  the  text,  may,  perhaps, 
be  justified. 







I -HAD  a  good  journey  hither,  excepting  only 
that  some  of  my  servants  have  suffered  in  their 
health  by  the  violent  heats.  Poor  Encolpius, 
my  reader,*  whose  assistance  is  of  such  service  to 
me,  both  in  my  studies  and  amusements,  was  so 
affected  by  the  dust,  that  it  occasioned  his  spit- 
ting of  blood :  an  accident  which  will  prove 
not  less  unfortunate  to  me,  than  to  himself, 
should  he  be  thereby  rendered  unfit  for  those 
purposes  of  literature  in  which  he  so  greatly  ex- 
cels. If  that  should  unhappily  be  the  event ; 


*  Persons  of  rank  and  literature,  among  the  Romans,  retained 
in  their  families  a  domestic,  whose  principal  business  was  to 
read  to  them. 


74  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  VIIL 

where  shall  I  find  one  who  will  read  my  com- 
positions with  so  much  spirit  and  so  captivating 
an  elocution,  or  admire  them  with  so  much  feel- 
ing ?  But  the  gods  seem  to  favour  our  better 
hopes,  as  his  bleeding  is  stopped,  and  his  pain 
abated.  He  is  extremely  temperate  on  his  part ; 
and  no  attention  is  wanting  on  mine,  nor  any 
care  on  his  physician's.  These  considerations, 
together  with  the  salubrity  of  this  air,  and  the 
quiet  of  retirement,  give  us  reason  to  expect,  that 
the  country  will  contribute  as  much  to  the  re- 
storation of  his  health,  as  to  his  repose.  Fare- 


OTHER  people  visit  their  estates  in  order  to  re- 
cruit their  purses,  but  I  go  to  mine  only  to  return 
so  much  the  poorer.  I  had  sold  my  vintage  to 
the  merchants,  who  were  extremely  eager  to  pur- 
chase it,  encouraged  by  the  price  it  then  bore, 
and  what  it  was  probable  it  would  rise  to  :  how- 
ever, they  \vere  disappointed  in  their  expectations. 
Upon  this  occasion,  to  have  made  one  general 
undistinguished  abatement  to  all,  would  have 
been  much  the  easiest  but  not  the  most  equitable 
method.  I  hold  it  particularly  worthy  of  a  man 
of  honour,  to  be  governed  by  the  principles  of 
1  strict 


strict  equity  in  his  domestic  ,as  well  as  public 
conduct;  in  small,  as  in  great  affairs  ;  in  his  own 
concerns,  as  well  as  in  those  of  others  :  And  if 
every  deviation  from  rectitude  is  equallya  criminal, 
every  approach  to  it  must  be  equally  laudable. 
In  the  first  place  then,  I  remitted  to  all  in  general 
one  eighth  part  of  the  price  they  had  agreed  to 
give  me;  that  none  might  go  away  without  a 
mark  of  my  liberality  :  in  the  next,  I  particularly 
considered  those  who  having  advanced  to  me 
large  sums,  in  part  of  payment,  had  done  me  so 
much  the  more  service,  and  had  been  the  greater 
sufferers  themselves.  To  those,  therefore,  whose 
purchase  amounted  to  more  than  ten  thousand 
sesterces,  b  I  returned  (beside  that  which  1  may 
call  the  general  and  common  eighth)  a  tenth  part 
of  what  they  had  paid  above  that  sum.  I  fear  I 
do  not  express  myself  with  sufficient  clearness  ; 
I  will  endeavour  to  explain  my  meaning  :  for 
instance,  suppose  a  man  had  purchased  of  me  to 
the  value  of  fifteen  thousand  sesterces  ;c  I  re- 
mitted to  him  one  eighth  part  of  that  whole  sum, 
and  likewise  one  tenth  of  five  thousand/  Be- 
sides this,  as  several  had  deposited,  in  different 
proportions,  part  of  the  price  they  had  agreed  to 

»  It  was  a  doctrine  maintained  by  the  Stoics,  that  all  crimes 
are  equal. 

b  About  £  SO  of  our  money. 
c  About  £  120  of  our  money. 
d  About  ^40  sterling. 

F  4 

76  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VIII. 

pay,  whilst  others  had  advanced  nothing;  I 
thought  it  would  not  be  agreeable  to  equity,  that 
all  these  should  be  favoured  with  the  same  equal 
remission.  To  those,  therefore,  who  had  made 
any  payments,  I  returned  a  tenth  part  upon  the 
sums  so  paid.  By  these  means,  I  made  a  proper 
acknowledgment  to  each,  according  to  their  re- 
spective deserts ;  and  likewise  encouraged  them, 
.not  only  to  deal  with  me  for  the  future,  but  to  be 
prompt  in  their  payments.  This  instance  of  my 
good  nature  or  my  judgment  (call  it  which  you 
please)  was  a  very  considerable  expence  to  me. 
However,  I  found  my  account  in  it;  for  all  the 
country  greatly  commended  both  the  singular 
generosity  of  these  abatements,  and  the  principle 
by  which  I  regulated  them.  Even  those  to  whom 
I  did  not  mete  (as  the  proverb  is)  by  the  same 
measure,  but  adjusted  the  remission  to  the  sum 
they  had  advanced,  held  themselves  obliged  to 
me,  in  proportion  to  the  probity  of  their  prin- 
ciples; and  went  away  pleased  with  having  ex- 
perienced, that  not  from  me 

The  good  and  bad  an  equal  boon  receive.* 



6  Horn.  II.  lib.  ix.  v. 




You  tell  me,  that,  of  all  my  works,  the  last  I 
sent  you  is  your  greatest  favourite.  The  same 
judgment  has  likewise  been  passed  upon  it  by 
another  of  my  very  knowing  and  ingenious 
friends :  and  I  am  the  more  inclined  to  believe 
that  neither  of  you  is  mistaken,  not  only  as  it  is 
improbable  you  both  should,  but  because  I  am 
much  disposed  to  flatter  myself.  I  always  en- 
deavour, indee'd,  that  my  last  performance  may  ap- 
pear the  most  finished ;  and  for  that  reason  I  pre- 
fer the  speech  I  lately  published,  to  that  which 
you  mention :  I  will  send  it  you  as  soon  as  I  can 
meet  with  a  safe  conveyance.  And  now  I  have 
raised  your  expectations  of  this  piece,  I  doubt 
you  will  be  disappointed  when  it  comes  to  your 
hands.  In  the  mean  while,  however,  you  may 
indulge  the  agreeable  persuasion  (and  perhaps  too 
without  being  disappointed)  that  it  $  a  com- 
position you  will  read  with  pleasure.  Farewel. 


1  GREATLY  approve  your  design  of  writing  a 
poem  upon  the  Daciim  war  ;a  for  where  could  you 


*  Dacia  comprehended  part  of  the  present  kingdom  of  Hun» 


78  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VIII. 

have  chosen  a  recent  subject  so  full  of  events,  so 
extensive,  or  indeed  so  capable  of  poetical  orna- 
inent  ? — a  subject  which,  while  it  has  all  the  mar- 
vellous of  fiction,  has  all  the  recommendation  of 
truth.  You  will  sing  of  rivers  taught  to  flow  in 
new  channels ;  of  bridges b  thrown  over  immense 

rivers ; 

gary,  together  with  part  of  Transilvania,  Servia,  Walachia  and 
Moldavia.  It  was  first  subdued  and  added  to  the  Roman  em- 
pire by  Trajan,  in  memory  of  whose  victories  over  this  nation, 
the  famous  pillar  is  supposed  to  have  been  erected,  called  Tra- 
jan's Pillar,  which  is  still  to  be  seen  entire  at  Rome.  It  is  128 
Italian  feet  high,  to  the  top  of  which  you  ascend  by  184  steps, 
which  wind  round  the  inside.  The  outside  is  carved  in  basso 
relievo,  with  the  representation  of  the  most  remarkable  circum- 
stances of  this  expedition.  [Bartoli  colonna  Traj.]  After  the 
death  of  Trajan,  his  ashes  were  placed,  as  some  authors  say, 
in  a  golden  ball  on  the  top  of  this  noble  pillar  :  but  Eutropius 
affirms  they  were  deposited  under  it.  Eutrop.  1.  8.  c.  5. 

b  It  is  probable  Pliny  here  alludes  to  the  famous  bridge  built 
by  Trajan  over  the  river  Danube,  in  the  upper  Mresia,  that  lust 
Jlight,  as  Sir  William  Temple  calls  it,  of  ancient  architecture. 
•'  It  is  styled,  by  the  ancients,  the  most  stately  fabric  of  that 
<(  nature  in  the  universe.  It  was  all  of  square  stone,  and  con- 
"  tained  twenty  arches,  each  of  them  one  hundred  and  twenty 
"  feet  above  the  foundation,  and  sixty  feet  in  breadth,  all  dis- 
"  tifict  from  each  other  one  hundred  and  seventy  feet.  It  was 
'built  whAe  the  river  was  narrowest,  and  consequently  where 
'  the  stream  was  strongest  and  most  rapid  ;  which  renders  the 
'  fabric  still  more  stupendous,  on  account  of  the  almost  insur- 
'  mountable  difficulties  they  must  have  met  with  in  laying  so 
'  large  a  foundation.  The  archHect  employed  upon  this  occa» 
'  sion,  was  one  Apollodorus  of  Damascus,  who,  it  seems,  loft  a 
'  description  of  this  great  work.  We  are  told  that  some  re- 
'  mains  are  still  to  be  seen  of  it  near  Zeveria,  in  Lower  Hun- 
'  gary.  Adrian,  fearing  the  Barbarians  might  make  use  of  it 
'  to  invade  the  Roman  territories,  broke  down  the  arches;  but 
'  the  piers  were  still  standing  in  Dion  Cassius's  time,  that  is, 
'  one  hundred  and  twenty  years  after,  though  they  served  only 
'  to  shew,  says  the  writer,  the  utmost  extent  of  human  power. 
"  This  stupendous  fabric  was  begun  and  ended  in  a  summer.7' 
Univ.  Hist.  v.  vi.  p.  14. 


rivers ;  of  encampments  upon  the  dreadful  pre- 
cipices of  craggy  mountains  ;  and  of  a  bravec 
prince  who,  though  driven  from  his  palace,  pre- 
served his  courage  unsubdued  to  the  last  moment 
of  his  life.  You  will  describe  too  the  glorious 
victor's  double  triumph,  one  of  which  was  the 
first  that  was  ever  gained  over  that  nation,  till 
then  invincible,  as  the  other  will  be  the  last. 
There  is  one  difficulty,  however,  and  a  very  con- 
siderable one  it  is,  where  to  rind  expressions  equal 
to  the  subject ;  a  difficulty  which  seems  almost 
insuperable  even  by  your  elevated  genius,  though 
capable  of  rising  to  the  most  sublime  topics. 
Some  difficulty  too  you  will  find  in  reconciling 
those  barbarous  and  uncouth  names,  especially 
that  of  the  king*  himself,  to  the  harmony  of  Gre- 
cian numbers.  There  is  nothing,  however,  so 

O3  ' 

hard  that  art  and  industry  cannot  mitigate  at 
least,  if  not  absolutely  subdue.  If  Homer  is  al- 
lowed to  contract  or  lengthen,  or  change  even 
Grecian  names,  which  are  nothing  harsh  to  the 
ear,  in  order  to  make  them  run  more  smoothly  in 
his  verse  ;  why  should  the  same  liberty  be  refused 
to  you,  especially  since  it  is  necessity,  and  not 


c  Decebalus,  king  of  the  Dacians,  who,  rather  than  fall  into 
the  hands  of  the  conqueror,  or  live  in  dependence,  put  an  end 
to  his  own  life. 

d  From  hence  Catanoeus  conjectures,  upon  the  credit  of  Oro- 
sius,  that  the  true  name  of  the  king  was  Diiirpaneus,  which  was 
afterwards  changed  by  the  Greek  and  Latin  writers,  to  Deceha- 

80  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VIII. 

affectation,  that  pleads  for  the  indulgence  ?  Come 
on  then,  my  friend,  and  after  having,  as  poets 
are  wont,  invoked  the  gods,  and,  among  the  rest, 
that  divine  hero, c  whose  mighty  deeds  and  deep 
counsels  you  are  going  to  celebrate,  loosen  all 
your  cordage,  spread  every  sail,  and  then,  if  ever, 
launch  forth  with  the  full  flow  of  your  unbounded 
genius  : — for  you  must  allow  me  to  be  poetical, 
when  I  am  talking  to  a  poet.  And  now  I  insist 
that  you  send  me  every  part,  as  soon  as  it  shall 
have  received  your  last  finishing  touches ;  and 
even  before,  while  it  is  only  a  rough  sketch,  and 
unformed  embryo.  You  will  tell  me,  that  a  de- 
tached portion  cannot  please,  like  one  entire 
piece,  nor  an  unfinished  plan  be  as  satisfactory  as 
a  complete  work.  I  am  sensible  it  cannot,  and 
therefore  shall  consider  it  only  as  in  its  first  rudi- 
ments :  as  a  separate  and  disjoined  member ;  and 
shall  lay  it  up  in  my  scrutore,  to  wait  your  last 
hand.  Indulge  me  then  with  this  very  singular 
instance  of  your  affection,  and  suffer  me  to  be 
privy  to  what  you  would  choose  to  conceal  even 
from  every  other  person.  In  a  word,  though  the 
more  time  and  caution  you  take  in  communi- 
cating your  work  to  the  public,  the  more,  possibly, 
it  may  heighten  my  esteem  and  approbation  of 
the  poet ;  yet  the  sooner,  and  with  the  less  scru- 
e  Trajan. 


pie,  you  send  it  to  me,  the  more  I  shall  love  and 
applaud  the  friend.     Farewel. 

To  GEMINI  us. 

OUR  friend  Macrinus  has  received  a  most  severe 
wound  :  he  has  lost  his  wife  !  a  lady  whose  exem- 
plary virtues  would  have  rendered  her  an  orna- 
ment even  to  former  times.  He  lived  with  her 
thirty  nine  years  in  the  most  uninterrupted  har- 
mony. How  respectful  was  her  behaviour  to 
him  i  and  how  well  did  she  herself  deserve  the 
highest  respect !  In  her  character  were  united  all 
those  amiable  virtues  that  adorn  and  distinguish 
the  different  periods  of  female  life !  It  should, 
surely,  afford  great  consolation  to  Macrinus,  that 
he  has  thus  long  enjoyed  so  exquisite  a  blessing. 
But  that  reflection  seems  only  so  much  the  more 
to  embitter  his  loss ;  as  indeed  the  pain  of  parting 
with  our  happiness  still  rises  in  proporton  to  the 
length  of  its  continuance.  I  cannot  therefore  but 
be  greatly  anxious  for  so  valuable  a  friend,  till 
this  deep  wound  to  his  peace  shall  be  in  a  state 
to  admit  of  proper  applications.  Time,  however, 
together  with  a  satiety  of  grief  itself,  will  best 
and  indeed  necessarily  effect  his  cure.  Farewel. 

82         THE  LETTERS   BOOK  VIIL 


MY  last  letter  has,  by  this  time,  I  suppose,  in- 
formed you,  that  I  observed  lately,  upon  a  monu- 
ment erected  to  the  memory  of  Pallas,  the  fol- 
lowing inscription  :  The  senate*  decreed  to  him, 
as  a  reward  for  his  fidelity,  and  affection  to  his 
patrons,  the  honour  of  the  Prcetorian  ornaments, 
together  with  the  sum  of  fifteen  millions  of  ses- 
terces :  but  he  was  contented  with  accepting  only 
the  honour.  I  afterwards  thought  it  worth  while 
to  search  for  the  original  record,  and  it  run  in  a 
strain  so  very  extravagant,  that  this  proud  in- 
scription seems  modest  and  humble,  compared 
with  the  terms  of  the  decree.  The  eulogiums 
which  have  been  given  to  the  most  illustrious 
Romans,  I  do  not  say  those  of  more  remote  anti- 
quity, as  the  Scipios  and  theMummii;  but  ( to 
come  nearer  our  own  times)  the  Marii,  the  Syllas, 
and  the  Pompeys,  fall  infinitely  short  of  those 
which  have  been  lavished  upon  this  man.  Was 
it  a  spirit  of  banter,  shall  I  suppose,  or  a  principle 
of  slavery  that  produced  this  decree  ?  I  would 
ascribe  it  to  the  former,  were  not  raillery  unbe- 
coming the  dignity  of  the  senate.  Must  it  be  at- 
a  See  B.  7.  let.  29th,  and  the  notes  there. 

BOOK  VIII.          OF  PLINY.  83 

tributed  then  to  be  the  most  abject  subjection  ? 
Yet  who  is  so  wretchedly  sunk  as  to  be  capable 
of  such  meanness  !  Or  was  it  the  lust  of  ambi- 
tion that  gave  birth  to  this  decree;  and  the 
mover  of  it  in  the  senate  proposed  it,  perhaps, 
with  a  view  of  paving  the  way  to  his  own  prefer- 
ment ?  But  whom  can  we  suppose  so  irrational, 
as  to  desire  to  rsise  himself  at  the  expence  both 
of  his  own  and  the  public  honour,  in  a  common- 
wealth, where  the  only  means  to  be  first  in  rank 
was  to  be  first  in  flattering  Pallas  ?  Not  to  men- 
tion their  offering  to  a  slave  the  Praetorian  ho- 
nours ;  they  were  slaves  themselves  who  made  the 
offer  :  not  to  animadvert  upon  that  part  of  their 
decree,  which  says,  that  Pallas  ought  not  only  to 
be  entreated,  but  compelled  to  wear  the  golden11 
ring  ;  no  doubt  it  was  not  consistent  with  the 
dignity  of  the  senate,  that  a  person  of  Praetorian 
rank  should  wear  an  iron  one :  to  pass  over,  I 
sav.  these  less  flaorant  instances  :  mark,  I  beseech 

v    •*  ' 

you,  the  following  very  extraordinary  clause  : 
The  senate  (and  was  it  not  expiated  in  form  after 
so  vile  a  pollution  ?)  the  senate  returns  thanks 
to  Claudius,  not  only  for  the  honourable  men- 
tion he  himself  was  pleased  to  make  of  Pallas, 
but  for  the  opportunity  afforded  the  house  also 
of  testifying  their  benevolence  towards  him.  It 
was  highly  to  the  credit,  no  doubt,  of  the  senate, 


b  None  but  knights  and  senators  had  the  privilege  of  wearing 
a  gold  ring  ;  as  an  iron  one  was  a  badge  of  servitude. 

84  THE  LETTERS      BOOK  Vllt 

not  to  appear  deficient  in  point  of  gratitude  to 
Pallas  ?  It  goes  on  :  That  Pallas,  to  whom  every 
man  acknowledges  his  obligations  in  the  best 
manner  he  is  able,  may  receive  the  just  reward 
of  his  ^fidelity  and  singular  services.  Would 
one  not.  imagine  that  he  had  extended  the  bounds 
of  the  empire,  or,  at  least,  rescued  the  armies  of 
the  state  ?  But  it  proceeds :  since  no  occasion 
more  agreeable  could  present  itself  to  the  senate 
and  the  Roman  people,  of  exercising  their  libe- 
rality, than  an  opportunity  of  rewarding  one 
who  had  proved  himself  so  honest  and  disinte- 
rested a  guardian  of  the  emperors  finances.* — 
Such  was  the  glorious  ambition  of  the  senate  at 
that  time;  such  the  highest  pleasure  of  the  peo- 
ple ;  such  the  most  agreeable  occasion  of  exercis- 
ing their  liberality ;  to  have  an  opportunity  of 
exhausting  the  public  treasures  upon  Pallas  !  It 
continues :  the  senate,  therefore,  voted  that  millions  of  sesterces  should  be  paid  to 
him  out  of  the  treasury  ;  and,  as  he  has  a  soul 
far  above  desires  of  this  kind,  that  the  emperor 
should  be  so  much  the  more  strongly  entreated 
to  use  his  authority  with  Pallas,  to  oblige  him 
to  comply  with  the  inclination  of  the  senate. — • 
Nothing  more  indeed  seemed  wanting  to  com- 
plete this  extravagant  scene,  than  that  the  impe- 
rial authority  should  interpose ;  that  Pallas 
should  be  pressed  to  yield  to  the  desires  of  the 
1  senate ; 

BOOK  VIII.         OF  PLINY.  85 

senate ;  that  Caesar  himself  should  be  called  upon 
to  assist  the  house  in  opposing  this  insolent  piece 
of  self-denial,  lest  the  humble  Pallas  should  refuse 
fifteen  millions  of  sesterces  !  He  refused,  never- 
theless, the  offer  the  public  made  him  of  this  im- 
mense sum  ;  the  only  thing  he  could  possibly  have 
done  more  arrogant  than  the  accepting  of  it— *• 
Yet  even  this  the  senate  applauded,  and  seem  to 
lament  in  the  following  clause.     But  whereas 
our  excellent  prince  and  father  of  his  country 
has,  at  the  instance  of  Pallas,  expressed  his  de- 
sire to  have  that  part  of  the  vote  withdrawn, 
which  relates  to  the  giving  him  fifteen  millions 
of  sesterces  out  of  the  treasury ;   the  senate 
declares,  that  it  was  with  much  willingness  and 
great  justice  they  voted,  among  other  honours, 
the  said  intended  sum  to  Pallas,  upon  'account  of 
his  fidelity  and  vigilance :    however,   in   com- 
pliance with  the  emperor's  desire,  which  they 
think  cannot,  without  impiety,  be  opposed  in  any 
instance,  they  obey  it  even  in  the  present.     Fi- 
gure to  yourself,  Pallas  entering  his  protest,  as  it 
were,  against  the  decree  of  the  senate ;  moderat- 
ing the  honours  which  were  offered  him,  and  re- 
fusing, as  something  much  more  valuable,  the 
fifteen  millions,  when  at  the  same  time  he  accept- 
ed the  Prastorian  ornaments,  as  a  present  of  an  in- 
ferior nature.    Represent  to  yourself,  Cassar  yield- 
ing to  the  entreaties  of  his  freed  man  in  the  face  of 
VOL.  II.  G  the 


the  senate,  or  rather,  indeed,   obeying  his  com- 
mands ;  for,   in  the  present  instance,   to  entreat 
was  to  command !  Think  of  the  senate  declaring, 
in  every  clause  of  this  decree,  that  it  was  with 
great  willingness  and  justice  the  house  intended, 
among  other  honours,  to  present  Pallas  with  this 
sum  ;.  and  that  it  would  have  insisted  upon  his 
acceptance,   but  in  compliance  with  the  will  of 
the  emperor,  which  it  was  impious  in  any  point 
to  oppose  !    Was  it  owing  then  only  to  the  ob- 
sequiousness of  the  senate,  and  the  modesty  of 
Pallas,  that  he  did  not  receive   fifteen  millions 
out  of  the  treasury  ?  And  was  it  in  this  instance, 
of  all  others,  that  they  would  have  made  an  ex- 
ception to  their  obedience,  if  they  had  thought  it 
right  to  have  done  so  in  any  ?    And  now,  afte? 
all  this,  you  will  imagine,  perhaps,  that  you  are 
come  to  the  end.  Have  patience,  however,  there  is 
still  something  more  remarkable  to  follow  :  And 
whereas  it  is  highly  expedient,  that  the  generous 
disposition  of  the  emperor  to  approve  and  reward 
merit,  should  be  every  where  made  known  and 
celebrated,  especially  in  such  places  where  those 
who  have  the  care  and  administration  of  his  af- 
fairs  may    be    excited    to   an    imitation ;    and 
whereas  the  approved  fidelity  and  integrity  of 
Pallas  may  stimulate  others  to  emulate  so  laud- 
able an  example — It  is,  therefore,  resolved,  that 
the  memorial  which  the  emperor  read  to  the  se- 

BOOK  VIII.          OF  PLINY.  87 

nate,  on  the  QSt/i  of  January  last,  together  with 
the  decree  of  the  senate  thereupon,  shall  be  en- 
graven in  tablets  of  brass,  and  hung  up  near 
the  martial  statue  of  Julius  Caesar."  It  was 
not,  it  seems,  sufficient  that  the  senate  alone 
should  be  witness  to  this  complicated  disgrace ; 
but  the  most  frequented  place  in  all  Rome  was 
chosen,  in  order  to  display  it  to  the  then  present 
and  future  times  :  it  was  decreed,  that  all  the  ho- 
nours of  a  most  insolent  slave,  both  those  which 
he  refused,  and  those  which  (as  much  as  in  the 
authors  of  the  decree  lay)  he  had  borne,  should 
be  inscribed  in  brass  :  the  Prsetorian  distinctions 
decreed  to  Pallas  inscribed,  like  ancient  treaties 
or  sacred  laws,  upon  public  and  everlasting  mo- 
numents of  brass  !  so  great  was  their 1  know 

not  what  epithet  to  give  it that  the  emperor 

chose  to  display  his  weakness,  the  senate  their 
meanness,  and  Pallas  his  insole'nce,  in  the  face  of 
all  the  world  !  The  senate  was  not  ashamed  to 
colour  this  turpitude  with  a  shew  of  reason  ;  and 
a  noble  one,  in  truth,  it  was,  even  that  others 
might  be  encouraged,  by  the  rewards  conferred, 
upon  Pallas,  to  a  laudable  emulation  of  his  con- 
duct !  Thus  contemptible  were  all  honours  ren- 
dered, even  those  which  the  noble  Pallas  did  not 
disdain  to  accept !  And  yet  there  were  found 
persons  of  rank  and  birth,  so  humble  as  to  desire 

*  In  the  Forum. 


and  solicit  those  very  honours  which  they  saw 
thus  offered  by  slaves,  and  conferred  upon  a 
freed  man.  Happy  for  me  that  I  was  not  born 
in  those  days,  which  I  cannot  help  blushing  for, 
as  if  I  had  actually  lived  in  them ;  and,  I  doubt 
not,  they  raise  the  same  sentiments  in  you.  I 
know  the  honest  feeling  of  your  temper,  and  am 
persuaded,  that  if  I  have  been  transported  into 
a  greater  warmth  of  expression  than  is  suitable, 
perhaps,  to  a  private  letter,  you  will  think  I  have 
shewn  rather  too  little,  than  too  much  indigna- 
tion. Farewel. 


Vv  HEN  you  sent  me  your  treatise,  it  was  not  (as 
you  were  pleased  to  say  yourself)  as  one  master, 
or  disciple,  would  communicate  his4  works  to 
another,  but  with  the  condescension  of  a  precep- 
tor to  his  scholar;  for  in  that  relation  I  must 
consider  myself  in  respect  to  you.  Accordingly 
you  summon  me  to  my  studies,  whilst  I  am 
playing  the  truant,  and  prolonging  the  Saturna- 
lian  holidays.*  Tell  me  now,  could  I  have  made 
you  a  more  stiff  and  awkward  compliment,  or 
given  a  stronger  proof,  that  I  am  so  far  from  de- 
a  Vol.  I.  B.  2*  let.  xvii.  note  f. 


serving  to  be  your  instructor,  that  I  am  not  even 
worthy  to  be  your  pupil?  However,  I  will  ven- 
ture to  assume  the  character  you  have  invested 
me  with,  and  exert  the  authority  you  have  given 
me  over  your  book :  And  with  so  much  the  more 
freedom,  as  I  have  nothing  of  my  own  to  send 
you,  upon  which  you  inay  take  your  jievenge. 


JLIAVE  you  ever  seen  the  source  of  the  river 
Clitumims?'  as  I  never  heard  you  mention  it,  I 
imagine  not ;  let  me  therefore  advise  you  to  visit 
it  immediately.  It  is  but  lately  indeed  I  had 
that  pleasure,  and  I  condemn  myself  for  not 
having  viewed  it  sooner.  At  the  foot  of  a  little 
hill,  covered  with  venerable  and  shady  cypress 
trees,  a  spring  issues,  which,  gushing  out  in  dif- 
ferent and  unequal  streams,  forms  itself,  after 
several  windings,  into  a  spacious  bason,  so  ex- 
tremely clear,  that  you  may  see  the  pebbles,  and 
the  little  pieces  of  money  which  areb  thrown  into 


*  Now  called  Clitumno:  it  rises  a  little  below  the  village  of 
Campello  in  Ombria.  The  inhabitants  near  this  river  still  re- 
tain-a  notion,  that  its  waters  are  attended  with  a  supernatural 
property,  imagining  it  makes  the  cattle  white  that  drink  of  it :  a 
quality  for  which  it  is  likewise  celebrated  by  many  of  the  Latio 
poets.  See  Addison's  Travels. 

b  The  heads  of  considerable  rivers,  hot  springs,  large  bodies 
of  standing  water,  &c.  were  esteemed  holy  among  fche  Romans, 



90  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  VIII. 

it,  as  they  lie  at  the  bottom.  From  thence  it  is 
carried  off  not  so  much  by  the  declivity  of  the 
ground,  as  by  its  own  weight  and  exuberance. 
It  is  navigable  almost  as  soon  as  it  has  quitted  its 
source,  and  wide  enough  to  admit  a  free  passage 
for  vessels  to  pass  each  other,  as  they  sail  with  or 
against  the  stream.  The  current  runs  so  strong, 
though  the  ground  is  level,  that  the  large  barges 
which  go  down  the  river  have  no  occasion  to 
make  use  of  their  oars ;  while  those  which  ascend, 
find  it  difficult  to  advance,  even  with  the  assist- 
ance of  oars  and  poles  :  and  this  vicissitude  of 
labour  and  ease  is  exceedingly  amusing,  when 
one  sails  up  and  down  merely  for  pleasure.  The 
banks  on  each  side  are  shaded  with  s;reat  num- 


bers  of  verdant  ash  and  poplar  trees,  as  distinctly 
reflected  in  the  stream,  as  if  they  were  actually 
existing  in  it.  The  water  is  cold  as  snow,  and  as 
lucid  too.  Near  it  stands  an  ancient  and  vene- 
rable temple,  wherein  is  placed  a  statue  represent- 
ing the  river-god  Clitumnus  in  his  proper  vest- 
ment ;  and,  indeed,  the  prophetic  oracles  here 


and  cultivated  with  religious  ceremonies.  Magxorum  Jluminum 
(says  Seneca)  capita  revercmur ;  subita  #  ex  abdito  tasti  amnis 
cruptio  aras  habet ;  coluntur  aquarum  calentium  fontes,  $•  stagna 
qutfdam,  vel  opacifas,  vel  immensa  altitudo  sacravit.  Ep.  41.  It 
was  customary  to  throw  little  pieces  of  money  into  those  foun- 
tains, lakes,  &c.  which  had  the  reputation  of  being  sacred,  as  a 
mark  of  veneration  for  those  places,  and  to  render  the  presiding 
deities  propitious.  Suetonius  mentions  this  practice,  in  the  an- 
nual vows  which  he  says  the  Roman  people  made  for  the  health 
'of  Augustus.  Suet,  in  yit.  Aug. 

BOOK  VIII.          OF  PLINY.  91 

delivered,  sufficiently  testify  the  immediate  pre- 
sence of  that  divinity.  Several  little  chapels  are 
scattered  round,  dedicated  to  particular  gods,  dis- 
tinguished by  different  names,  and  some  of  them 
too  presiding  over  different  fountains.  For,  be- 
sides the  principal  spring,  which  is,  as  it  were,  the 
parent  of  all  the  rest,  there  are  several  smaller 
streams,  which,  taking  their  rise  from  various 
sources,  lose  themselves  in  the  river ;  over  which 
a  bridge  is  thrown,  that  separates  the  sacred  part 
from  that  which  lies  open  to  common  use.  Ves- 
sels are  allowed  to  come  above  this  bridge,  but 
no  person  is  permitted  to  swim,0  except  below  it. 
The  Hispellates,d  to  whom  Augustus  gave  this 
place,  furnish  a  public  bath,  and  likewise  enter- 
tain all  strangers,  at  their  own  expence.  Several 
villas,  attracted  by  the  beauty  of  this  river,  are 
situated  upon  its  borders.  In  short,  every  sur- 
rounding object  will  afford  you  entertainment. 
You  may  also  amuse  yourself  with^numberless  in- 
scriptions, fixed  upon  the  pillars  and  walls  by 
different  persons,  celebrating  the  virtues  of  the 
fountain,  and  the  divinity  who  presides  over  it. 
There  are  many  of  them  you  will  greatly  admire, 
as  there  are  some  that  will  make  you  laugh  ;  but 
I  must  correct  myself  when  I  say  so;  you  are  too 


c  The  touch  of  a  naked  body  was  thought  to  pollute  these 
consecrate&waters,  as  appears  from  a  passage  in  Tacitus,  1.  14-, 
nn.  c.  22. 
*  Inhabitants  of  a  town  in  Ombria,  now  called  Spello. 

G  4 

92  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  VIII. 

humane,  I  know,  to  laugh  upon  such  an  occa- 
sion.    Farewel, 



IT  is  long  since  I  have  taken  either  a  book,  or  a 
pencil  in  my  hand  ;  since  I  have  known  the 
sweets  of  leisure  and  repose ;  since  I  have  known, 
in  short,  that  indolent,  but  agreeable  satisfaction 
of  doing  nothing,  and  being ,  nothing;  so  much 
have  the  affairs  of  my  friends  engaged  me,  and 
prevented  me  from  enjoying  the  pleasures  of  re- 
tirement and  contemplation.  There  is  no  sort  of 
philosophical  studies,  however,  sufficiently  im* 
portant  to  supersede  the  offices  of  friendship  ; 
for  they  are  offices  which  philosophy  herself 
teaches  us  most  religiously  to  discharge.  Farewel. 


To  FA  BAT  us.* 

Yo  u  R  concern  to  hear  of  my  wife's  miscarriage, 
will  be  equal,  I  know,  to  the  earnest  desire  you 
have  that  we  should  make  you  a  great  grand- 
father. The  inexperience  of  her  youth  rendered 
her  ignorant  that  she  was  breeding ;  so  that  she 

9  His  wife's  grandfather. 

BOOK  VIII.         OP  PLINY.  93 

not  only  neglected  the  proper  precautions,  but 
managed  herself  in  a  way  extremely  unsuitable  to 
a  person  in  her  circumstances.  But  she  has  se- 
verely atoned  for  her  mistake,  by  the  iitmost 
hazard  of  her  life.  Though  you  certainly  will  be 
afflicted  to  see  yourself  thus  disappointed  in  your 
advanced  age,  of  the  immediate  hopes  of  leaving 
a  family  behind  you ;  yet.  it  deserves  your  grati- 
tude to  the  Gods,  that,  in  the  preservation  of  your 
grand-daughter,  you  have  still  reason  to  expect 
that  blessing :  an  expectation  so  much  the  more 
assured,  as  she  has  given  this  proof,  though  an 
unhappy  one  indeed,  of  her  being  capable  of  bear- 
ing children.  These,  at  least,  are  reflections  by 
which  I  endeavour  to  confirm  my  own  hopes, 
and  console  myself  under  my  present  disappoint- 
ment. You  cannot  more  ardently  desire  to  have 
great-grand-children,  than  I  to  have  children  ;  as 
the  dignity  of  both  our  families  seems  to  open  to 
them  a  sure  road  to  honours,  and  they  will  in- 
herit the  glory  of  descending  from  a  long  race  of 
ancestors,  whose  fame  is  as  extensive  as  their  no- 
bility is  ancient.  May  we  but  have  the  pleasure 
of  seeing  them  born,  it  will  make  us  amends  for 
the  present  mortification  !  Farewel. 





WHEN  I  consider  that  you  love  your  niece  even 
more  fondly  than  if  she  were  your  own  daughter, 
I  ought,  in  the  6rst  place,  to  inform  you  of  her 
recovery,  before  I  tell  you  she  has  been  ill ;  that 
the  sentiments  of  joy  at  the  one,  may  leave  you 
no  leisure  to  be  afflicted  at  the  other.  Though 
I  fear,  indeed,  after  your  first  transports  of  gratu- 
lation  are  over,  you  will  feel  some  concern  ;  and, 
in  the  midst  of  your  joy  for  the  danger  she  has 
escaped,  will  tremble  at  the  thought  of  that 
which  she  has  undergone.  She  is  now,  however, 
in  good  spirits,  and  again  restored  to  herself  and 
to  me ;  and  is  recovering  her  strength  and  health, 
as  fast  as  she  lost  them.  To  say  the  truth,  (and 
I  may  now  safely  tell  it  you)  her  life  was  in  the 
-utmost  danger ;  not  indeed  from  any  fault  of  her 
own,  but  a  little  from  the  inexperience  of  her 
youth.  To  this  must  be  imputed  the  cause  of 
her  miscarriage,  and  the  sad  experience  she  has 
had  of  the  consequence  of  not  knowing  she  was 
breeding.  But  though  this  misfortune  has  de- 
prived you  at  present  of  a  nephew,  or  a  niece,  to 
console  you  for  the  loss  of  your  brother ;  you 
should  reflect  that  it  is  a  blessing  which  seems 


*  His  wife's  aunt. 

BOOK  VIII.         OF  PLINY.  95 

rather  to  be  deferred  than  denied,  since  her  life 
is  preserved  from  whom  that  happiness  is  to  be 
expected.  I  entreat  you  then  to  represent  this 
accident  to  your  father3  in  the  most  favourable 
light ;  as  your  sex  are  the  best  advocates  in  cases 
of  this  kind.  Farewel. 



I  BEG  you  to  excuse  me  this  one  day  :  Titinius 
Capito  is  to  recite  a  performance  of  his,  and  I 
know  not  whether  it  is  most  my  inclination,  or 
my  duty  to  attend  him.  He  is  a  man  of  a  most 
amiable  disposition,  and  justly  to  be  numbered 
among  the  brightest  ornaments  of  the  present 
age.  He  diligently  cultivates  the  polite  arts  him- 
self, and  generously  admires  and  encourages  them 
in  others ;  to  many  of  whom  he  is  the  protector, 
the  refuge,  and  the  liberal  patron;  as  he  is  to  all 
of  them  a  bright  and  exemplary  model.  In  a 
word,  he  is  the  restorer  and  reformer  of  litera- 
ture, now,  alas  !  well  nigh  sinking  into  total  neg- 
lect and  decay.  His  house  is  open  to  every  man 
of  genius,  who  has  any  works  to  rehearse ;  and  it 
is  not  there  alone  that  he  attends  these  assem- 
blies with  the  most  obliging  good-nature.  I  am 


•  Fabatus,  grandfather  to  Calphurnia,  Pliny's  wife. 


sure,  at  least,  he  never  once  excused  himself  from 
mine,  if  he  happened  to  be  at  Rome.  I  should, 
therefore,  with  a  more  than  ordinary  ill  grace,  re- 
fuse to  return  him  the  same  favour,  especially  upon 
so  honourable  an  occasion.  Should  not  I  think 
myself  obliged  to  a  man,  who,  if  I  were  engaged 
in  any  law- suit,  generously  attended  the  cause  in 
which  I  was  interested  ?  And  am  I  less  indebted, 
now  that  my  whole  care  and  business  is  of  the 
literary  kind,  for  his  assiduity  in  my  concerns  of 
this  sort ;  which,  if  not  the  only,  is  however  the 
principal  instance  wherein  I  can  be  obliged  ?  But 
though  I  owed  him  no  return  of  this  nature ; 
though  I  were  not  engaged  to  him  by  the  reci- 
procal tie  of  the  same  good  offices  he  has  done 
me ;  yet  not  only  the  powers  of  his  extensive 
genius,  as  elegantly  polished  as  it  is  severely  cor- 
rect, but  the  dignity  of  his  subject,  would  strongly 
incite  me  to  be  of  his  audience.  He  has  written 
an  account  of  the  deaths  of  several  illustrious  per- 
sons, some  of  whom  were  my  particular  friends. 
It  is  a  pious  office  then,  it  should  seem,  as  I 
could  not  be  present  at  their  obsequies,  to  attend, 
at  least,  this  (as  I  may  call  it)  their  funeral  ora- 
tion ;  which,  though  a  late,  is  however,  for  that 
very  reason,  a  more  unsuspected  tribute  to,  their 
memories.  Farewel. 


BOOK  VIII.         OF  PLINY.  97 


I  HUGH  approve  of  your  having  read  my  ora- 
tions with  your  father.  It  is  highly  for  your  ad- 
vantage to  learn  from  a  man  of  his  eloquence, 
what  to  admire  in  compositions  of  this  kind,  and 
what  to  condemn  ;  as  you  will  at  the  same  time 
be  trained  up  in  an  habitual  custom  of  speaking 
your  real  sentiments.  You  see  whose  steps  it  is 
you  ought  to  follow ;  and  happy  are  you  in  hav- 
ing a  living  example  before  you,  which  is  at  once 
the  nearest  and  the  noblest  model  you  can  pursae ! 
In  a  word,  that  he  whom  nature  designed  you 
..should  most  resemble,  is,  of  all  others,  the  person 
whom  you  should  most  endeavour  to  imitate* — 


As  you  are  no  less  acquainted  with  the  political 
law  of  your  country,  (which  includes  the  cus- 
toms and  usages  of  the  senate)  than  with  the 
civil,  I  am  particularly  desirous  to  have  your 
opinion,  whether  I  was  mistaken  in  an  affair  which 
lately  came  before  the  house.  This  I  request,  not 
with  a  vievf  of  being  directed  in  my  judgment  as 
3  to 


to  'what  is  passed,  (for  that  is  now  too  late)  but 
in  order  to  know  how  to  conduct  myself,  if  any 
case  of  the  same  nature  should  hereafter  happen 
to  arise.  You  will  ask,  perhaps,  why  I  apply  to 
you  for  information  concerning  a  point,  wherein 
I  ought  to  he  well  instructed  !  But  the  tyranny 
of  former  reigns,a  as  it  introduced  a  neglect  and 
ignorance  of  all  other  parts  of  useful  knowledge, 
so  particularly  of  what  relates  to  the  customs  of 
the  senate  ;  for  who  is  there  so  idly  industrious 
as  to  endeavour  to  learn,  what  he  never  can  have 
an  opportunity  of  practising?  Besides,  it  is  not 
very  easy  to  retain  even  the  knowledge  one  has 
acquired,  where  no  occasion  of  exercising  it 
occurs.  Hence  it  was,  that  Liberty,  at  her  re- 
turn,11 found  us  totally  ignorant  and  inexperienced 
in  what  relates  to  her  interest ;  and  thus,  in  our 
eagerness  to  taste  her  sweets,  we  are  sometimes 
hurried  on  to  action,  ere  we  are  well  informed  in 
what  manner  it  is  proper  we  should  act.  But  it 
was  wisely  provided  by  the  institution  of  our  an- 
cestors, that  the  young  men  should  learn  from 
the  old,  not  only  by  precept,  but  by  their  own 
observation,  how  to  behave  in  that  sphere,  wherein 
they  were  one  day  themselves  to  move ;  as  these, 
in  their  turn,  transmitted  the  same  mode  of  in- 
struction to  their  children.  LTpon  this  principle 


a  Those  of  Nero  and  Domitian. 
k  \Vhen  Nerva  and  Trajan  received  the  empire. 

BOOK  VIII.          OF  PLINY.  99 

it  was,  that  the  youth  were  sent  early  into  the 
army,  that,  by  being  taught  to  obey,  they  might 
learn  to   command,    and,   whilst  they   followed 
others,  might  be  trained  by  degrees  to  become 
leaders  themselves.     And  thus,    when  they  were 
candidates  for  any  office,   they  were  obliged  to 
stand  at  trie  entrance  of  the  senate,   that  they 
might  be  spectators  before  they  were  admitted 
parties  in  the  public  council  of  the  empire.     The 
father  of  each  youth   was  his  instructor  upon 
these  occasions ;  or,  if  he  were  dead,  some  per- 
son of  years  and  dignity  supplied  the  place  of  a 
father.     Accordingly  they  were  taught  by  that 
surest  method  of  discipline,  example,  how  far  the 
right  of  proposing  any  law  to  the  senate  extend- 
ed ;   what  privileges  a  senator  had  in  delivering 
his  opinion  in  the  house ;  the  power  of  the  ma- 
gistrates in  that  assejnbly,  and  the  rights  of  the 
rest  of  the  members  ;  where  it  is  proper  to  yield, 
and  where  to  insist ;  when  and  how  long  to  speak, 
and  when  to  be  silent ;   how  to  distinguish  and 
separate  complicated   and  inconsistent  proposi- 
tions,* and  how  to  improve  upon  another  mem- 
ber's motion  :  in  a  word,  they  learnt  by  this  means 
whatever  relates  to  the  conduct  of  a  senator  in 


*  If  any  opinion  proposed  to  the  senate  was  thought  too  ge- 
neral, and  to  include  several  distinct  articles,  some  of  which 
might  be  approved,  and  others  rejected,  it  was  usual  to  require 
that  it  might  be  divided  :  and  this  they  sometimes  did  by  a  ge- 
neral vwice  of  the  assembly,  crying  out,  divide,  divide,  Mid- 
diet,  Treat,  on  the  Roman  Senate,  137. 


the  house.  As  for  myself,  it  is  true,  I  served  in 
the  army  when  I  -was  a  youth;  but  it  was  at  a 
time  when  courage  was  suspected,  and  want  of 
spirit  honoured ;'  when  generals  were  without  au- 
thority, and  soldiers  without  modesty;  when 
there  were  neither  discipline  nor  obedience  in  the 
camp,  but  all  was  riot,  disorder,  and  confusion ; 
in  short,  when  it  was  happier  to  forget,  than  to 
remember  what  one  learnt.  I  attended,  likewise, 
in  my  youth,  the  senate,  but  a  senate  that  was 
mute  and  dispirited ;  where  it  was  dangerous  to 
speak  one's  sentiments,  and  infamous  to  be  silent. 
What  satisfaction  in  learning,  or  indeed  what 
could  be  learnt,  when  the  senate  sate  in  the  ut- 
most indolence,  or  acted  with  the  highest  infa- 
my 1  when  they  were  convened  either  for  cruel 
or  ridiculous  purposes  ;a  and  when  their  delibera- 
tions were  never  serious  thqugh  often  sad.  But 

I  was 

3  The  fourth  satire  of  Juvenal  will  serve  as  a  comment  upon 
this  passage,  where  he  acquaints  us  that  a  turbot  of  a  most 
enormous  size  being  presented  to  Domitian,  he  immediately 
convened  the  senate,  in  order  to  consult  in  what  manner  it 
should  be  dressed.  The  poet  mentions  ihe  names  of  the  persons 
who  spoke  in  this  remarkable  debate,  together  with  their  seve- 
ral opinions  upon  a  question  so  important,  concluding  his  sa- 
tire with  this  pathetic  wish  : 

Atque  ittinam  his  potius  nvgis  iota  ilia  dedisset 
Tempora  sceviti(f,  dams  quibus  abstulit  urbi 
Ulustresque  animas  inipune  ! 

Ah  !  as  this  day,  that  he  had  spent  the  rest, 
And  his  dire  reign  had  only  been  a  jest  ! 
Nor  Rome  her  noblest  blood  had  tamely  seeri 
Flow  unrevcng'd ! 


I  was  not  only  a  witness  to  this  scene  of  wretch- 
edness, as  a  spectator  ;  I  bore  my  share  of  it  too 
as  a  senator,  and  both  saw  and  suffered  under  it 
for  many  years ;  which  so  broke  and  damped  my 
spirits,  that  they  have  not  even  yet  been  able  fully 
to  recover  themselves.  It  is  but  within  a  short 
time  (for  all  time  seems  short  in  proportion  to 
its  happiness)  since  we  could  take  any  pleasure  in 
knowing  what  relates  to,  or  in  exercising  the  duties 
of,  our  station.  Upon  these  considerations,  there- 
fore, I  maj  reasonably  entreat  you,  in  the  first 
place,  to  pardon  my  error,  (if  I  have  committed 
one)  and  in  the  next,  to  lead  me  out  of  it  by  your 
superior  knowledge ;  for,  I  am  sensible  you  have 
ever  been  diligent  to  enquire  into  the  constitution 
of  our  country,  both  with  respect  to  its  public 
and  private,  its  ancient  and  modern,  its  general 
and  particular  laws.  .  I  am  persuaded,  indeed,  the 
point  upon  which  I  am  going  to  consult  you,  is 
so  singular,  that  even  those  whose  great  expe- 
rience in  public  business  must  have  made  them, 
one  should  suppose,  acquainted  with  every  thing 
of  this  nature,  were  either  doubtful,  or  absolutely 
ignorant  in  what  manner  to  proceed.  I  shall  be 
the  more  excusable,  therefore,  if  I  happen  to  have 
been  mistaken ;  as  you  will  gain  so  much  the 
higher  praise,  if  you  can  set  me  right  in  an  affair, 
which  it  is  not  clear  has  ever  yet  fallen  within 
your  observation.  The  enquiry  then  before  the 
VOL.  II.  H  house 


house  was  concerning  the  death  of  Afranius 
Dexter,  who  being  found  murdered,  it  was  un- 
certain whether  he  fell  by  his  own  hands,  or  by 
those  of  his  freedmen ;  and  if  the  latter,  whether 
they  committed  the  fact  in  obedience5  to  the 
commands  of  Afranius,  or  were  prompted  to  it 
by  their  own  villany.  After  they  had  been  put 
to  the  torture,  a  certain  senator  (it  is  of  no  im- 
portance to  mention  his  name,  but  if  you  are  de- 
sirous to  know,  it  was  myself)  was  for  acquitting 
them  ;  another  proposed  that  they  should  be  ba- 
nished ;  and  a  third  that  they  should  suifer  death. 
These  several  opinions  were  so  extremely  differ- 
ent, that  it  was  impossible  either  of  them  could 
stand  with  the  other ;  and,  therefore,  in  taking 
the  votes,  I  thought  they  ought  to  be  numbered 
separately.  For,  what  is  there  in  common  be- 
tween the  opinion  of  those  who  deemed  the  ac- 
cused deserved  banishment,  and  those  Avho  were 
of  opinion  they  merited  death  ?  certainly  nothing 
more  than  between  those  who  voted  for  banish- 
ment, and  the  others  who  were  for  acquitting  the 
prisoners.  Though  indeed  he  who  was  for  dis- 
charging them,  approached  nearer  to  the  senti- 
ments of  him  who  proposed  exile,  than  the  other 


k  Those  who  destroyed  themselves  frequently  made  use  of 
the  hands  of  their  slaves  for  that  purpose-.  Thus  Brutus  and 
Cassius,  after  the  loss  of  that  fatal  battle  which  decided  the 
liberties  of  Rome,  run  each  of  them  upon  the  swords  of  their 
slaves.  Florus,  1.  4.  c.  7. 

BOOK  VIII.         OF  PLINY.  103 

who  moved  that  they  should  suffer  death :  for 
both  the  former  agreed  at  least  in  this,  that  their 
lives  should  be  spared,  whereas  the  latter  were, 
for  a  capital  conviction.  In  the  mean  while, 
those  senators  who  were  for  punishing  with  death, 
and  those  who  proposed  banishment,  sate  toge- 
ther on  the  same  side  of  the  house  :  and  thus,  by 
a  present  appearance  of  union,  covered  their  real 
disagreement.  I  moved,  therefore,  that  each  of 
the  three  opinions  should  be  separately  voted,  and 
that  two  of  them  should  not,  under  favour  of  a 
short  truce  between  themselves,  join  against  the 
third.  I  insisted  that  such  of  the  members  who 
were  for  capital  punishment  should  divide  from 
the  others  who  voted  for  banishment ;  and  that 
these  two  distinct  parties  should  not  be  permitted 
to  form  themselves  into  a  body,  in  opposition  to 
those  who  declared  for  acquittal,  when  they  would 
immediately  after  disunite  again  :  for  it  was  not 
material  that  they  agreed  in  disliking  one  of  the 
proposals,  since  they  differed  with  respect  to  the 
other  two.  It  seemed  very  extraordinary,  that 
he  who  moved  that  the  freedmen  should  be  ba- 
nished, and  the  slaves  suffer  death,  should  not  be 
allowed  to  join  these  two  motions  in  one,  but 
that  the  question  should  be  ordered  to  be  put  to 
the  house  in  the  disjunctive ;  and  yet  that  the 
votes  of  those  who  were  for  inflicting  capital 
punishment  upon  the  freedmen,  should  be  taken 

H  2  in 

104  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VIIL 

in  conjunction  with  those  who  were  forbanishifig 
them.  For  if,  in  the  former  instance,  it  was  rea- 
sonable that  the  motion  should  be  divided,  be- 
cause it  Comprehended  two  distinct  propositions; 
I  could  not  see  why,  in  the  latter  case,  suffrages 
so  extremely  different  should  be  thrown  into  the 
same  scale.  Permit  me  then,  notwithstanding 
the  point  is  already  determined,  to  go  over  it 
again,  as  if  it  were  still  undecided,  and  to  lay  be- 
fore you  those  reasons,  at  my  ease,  which  I  offered 
to  the  house  in  the  midst  of  much  interruption 
and  clamour.  Let  us  suppose  there  had  been 
only  three  judges  appointed  to  hear  this  cause, 
one  of  which  wras  of  opinion  that  the  parties  in 
question  deserved  death ;  the  other  that  they 
should  only  be  banished  ;  and  the  third  that  they 
ought  to  be  acquitted ;  should  •  the  two  former 
unite  their  weight  to  overpower  the  latter,  or 
should  each  be  separately  balanced  ?  For,  the 
first  and  second  are  no  more  compatible  with  each 
other  than  the  second  and  third.  They  ought, 
therefore,  to  be  counted  in  the  senate  as  contrary 
opinions,  since  they  were  delivered  as  different 
ones.  Suppose  the  same  person  had  moved,  that, 
they  should  both  have  been  banished  and  put  to 
death  ;  could  they  possibly,  in  pursuance  of  this 
opinion,  have  suffered  both  punishments  ?  Or 
could  it  have  been  esteemed  as  one  consistent 
motion,  when  it  united  two  such  different  deci- 
sions ? 

BOOK  VIH.          OF  PLINY.  105 

sions  ?  Why  then  should  the  same  opinion,  when 
delivered  by  distinct  persons,  he  considered  as  one 
and  entire,  which  would  not  he  deemed  so  if  pro- 
posed hy  a  single  man  ?  Does  not  the  law  mani- 
festly imply,  that  a  distinction  is  to  be  made  be- 
tween  those  who  are  for  a  capital  conviction,  and 
those  who  are  for  banishment  in  the  very  form  of 
words  made  use  of  when  the  house  is  ordered  to 
divide  ?  You  who  are  of  such  an  opinion,  come 
to  this  side ;  you  who  are  of  any  other  go  over 
to  the  side  of  him  whose  opinion  you  follow.  Let 
us  examine  this  form,  and  weigh  every  sentence : 
You  who  are  of  this  opinion  :  that  is,  for  instance, 
you  who  are  for  banishment,  come  on  this  side  ; 
namely,  on  the  side  of  him  who  moved  for  banish* 
ment.  From  whence  it  is  clear  he  cannot  remain 
on  the  side  of  those  who  are  for  death.  You  who 
are  for  any  other;  observe,  the  law  is  not  con- 
tented with  barely  saying  another,  but  it  adds 
any.  Now  can  there  be  a  doubt,  whether  they 
who  declare  for  a  capital  conviction  are  of  any 
other  opinion,  than  those  who  propose  exile  !  Go 
over  to  the  side  of  him  whose  opinion  you  follow : 
does  not  the  law  seem,  as  it  were,  to  force  those 
who  are  of  different  sentiments  to  contrary  sides? 
Does  not  the  consul  himself  point  out,  not  only 
by  this  solemn  form  of  words,  but  by  his  hand 
and  gesture,  the  place  in  which  every  man  is  to 
remain,  or  to  which  he  is  to  go  over?  "  But,  it 

H  3  "  is 


"  is  objected,  if  this  separation  be  made  between 
"  those  who  vote  for  inflicting  death,  and  those 
"  who  are  on  the  side  of  exile,  the  opinion  for 
"  acquitting  the  prisoners  must  necessarily  pre- 
"  vail.''  But  how  does  that  affect  the  parties  who 
vote  ?  Certainly  it  becomes  not  them  to  contend 
by  every  art,  and  urge  every  expedient,  that  the 
milder  sentence  may  not  take  place.  "Still,  say 
"  they,  those  who  are  for  condemning  the  ac- 
"  cused,  either  capitally  or  to  banishment,  should 
"  first  be  set  in  opposition  to  those  who  are  for 
"  absolving  them,  and  afterwards  weighed  against 
"  each  other."  Thus,  as  in  certain  public  games, 
some  are  by  lot  to  engage  with  the  conqueror ; 
so,  it  seems,  in  the  senate,  there  is  a  first  and  se- 
cond combat,  and  of  two  different  sentiments,  the 
prevailing  one  has  still  a  third  to  contend  with. 
What  ?  when  any  particular  opinion  is  received, 
do  not  all  the  rest  fall  of  course  ?  Is  it  reasonable 
then,  that  one  should  be  thrown  into  the  scale 
merely  to  weigh  down  another  ?  To  express  my 
meaning  more  plainly  :  unless  the  two  parties, 
who  are  respectively  for  capital  punishment  and 
exile,  immediately  separate  upon  the  first  division 
of  the  house,  it  would  be  to  no  purpose  afterwards 
to  dissent  from  those  with  whom  they  had  joined 
before.  But  I  am  dictating  instead  of  receiving 
instruction.  Tell  me  then  whether  you  think 
these  votes  *  should  have  been  taken  separately? 



My  sentiments,  'tis  true,  prevailed ;  nevertheless  I 
am  desirous  to  know  whether  you  think  I  ought 
to  have  insisted  upon  this  point,  or  have  yielded, 
as  that  member  did  who  declared  for  capital  pu- 
nishment ?  For.  convinced,  I  will  not  say  of  the 
legality,  but  at  least  of  the  equity  of  my  propo- 
sal, he  receded  from  his  own  opinion,  and  went 
over  to  the  party  for  exile  ;  fearing,  perhaps,  if 
the  votes  were  taken  separately  (which  he  saw 
would  be  the  case)  the  freedmen  would  be  acquit- 
ted :  For,  the  numbers  were  far  greater  on  that 
side  than  on  either  of  the  other  two,  separately 
counted.  The  consequence  was,  that  those  who 
had  been  influenced  by  his  authority,  when  they 
saw  themselves  forsaken  by  his  going  over  to  the 
other  party,  gave  up  a  motion  which  they  found 
abandoned  by  the  first  proposer,  and  deserted,  if 
I  may  so  express  it,  with  their  leader.  Thus  the 
three  opinions  terminated  at  length  in  two  :  and 
of  those,  one  prevailed,  and  the  other  was  reject- 
ed ;  while  the  third,  as  it  was  not  powerful 
enough  to  conquer  both  the  others,  had  only  to 
choose  to  which  of  the  two  it  would  yield. — • 


108  THE  LETTERS       BOOK  VIII. 



1  FEAR  I  have  over-loaded  you  by  sending  so 
many  volumes  at  once  ;  but,  if  I  have,  remember 
it  was  your  own  request  Besides,  as  you  wrote 
me  word  you  were  likely  to  reap  but  little  from 
the  fruits  of  your  vineyards,  I  imagined  you 
would  be  at  leisure  to  reap  (as  we  say)  tine  fruits 
of  learning.  I  have  received  the  same  cad  ac- 
counts of  my  own  farms  ;  and  am  therefore  at 
leisure  to  compose  tracts  for  you,  provided  I  can 
but  raise  money  sufficient  to  furnish  me  with  good 
parchment.  For,  should  I  be  reduced  to  use  the 
coarse  and  spungy  sort,  I  must  either  not  write 
at  all,  or  whatever  I  compose,  whether  good  or 
bad,  must  necessarily  undergo  one  general  blot ! 





1  HE  sickness  which  has  lately  run  through  my 
family,  and  carried  off  several  of  my  domestics 
some  of  them  too  in  the  prime  of  their  years,  has 
deeply  afflicted  me.  I  have  two  consolations, 
however,  which,  though  they  are  not  adequate 
to  so  considerable  a  loss,  still  they  are  consola- 
tions. One  is,  that  as  I  have  always  very  readily 
manumized  my  slaves,  their  death  does  not  seem 
altogether  immature,  if  they  lived  long  enough 
to  receive  their  freedom  :  the  other,  that  I  have 
allowed  them  to  make  a  kind  of  will,3  which  I  ob- 
serve as  religiously  as  if  they  were  legally  entitled 
to  that  privilege.  I  receive  and  obey  their  last 
requests,  as  so  many  absolute  commands,  suffer- 
ing them  to  dispose  of  their  effects  to  whom  they 
please ;  with  this  single  restriction,  that  they 
leave  them  to  some  of  the  family  ;  which,  to  per- 
sons in  their  station,  is  to  be  considered  as  a  sort 
of  commonwealth.  But  though  I  endeavour  to 
acquiesce  under  these  reflections,  yet  the  same 
tenderness  which  led  me  to  shew  them  these  in- 
dulgences, still  breaks  out  and  renders  me  too 
sensibly  affected  by  their  deaths.  However,  I 


*  A  slave  could  acquire  no  property,  and  consequently  was 
incapable  by  law  of  making  a  will. 

110  THE  LETTERS       BOOK  VIII. 

would  not  wish  to  be  incapable  of  these  tender 
impressions  of  humanity  ;  though  the  generality 
of  the  world,  I  know,  look  upon  losses  of  this 
kind  in  no  other  view,  than  as  a  diminution  of 
their  property,  and  fancy,  by  cherishing  such  an 
unfeeling  temper,  they  discover  superior  forti- 
tude and  philosophy.  Their  fortitude  and  philo- 
sophy, I  will  not  dispute,  but  humane,  I  am  sure 
they  are  not ;  for  it  is  the  very  criterion  of  true 
manhood  to  feel  those  impressions  of  sorrow, 
which  it  endeavours  to  resist ;  and  to  admit,  not 
to  be  above  the  want  of,  consolation.  But,  per- 
haps, I  have  detained  you  too  long  upon  this 
subject,  though  not  so  long  as  I  would.  There 
is  a  certain  pleasure  in  giving  vent  to  one's  grief; 
especially  when  we  pour  out  our  sorrow  in  the 
bosom  of  a  friend,  who  will  approve,  or,  at  least, 
pardon  our  tears."  Farewel. 


*  There  is  something  so  uncommonly  amiable  in  this  Family 
fleet,  that  the  reader  cannot  be  displeased  with  being  stopped 
a  moment  to  take  a  second  view  of  it.  If  nothing  remained  of 
Pliny  but  this  single  trait  of  his  character,  we  might  neverthe- 
less assuredly  pronounce  of  him,  that  he  was  ennobled  by  every 
social  virtue:  for  as  it  is  certain  the  greatest  minds  have  ever 
been  most  open  to  impressions  of  the  humane  kind ;  so  every 
moral  virtue  necessarily  flows  from  benevolence  as  from  its  true 
and  genuine  source.  It  is  impossible  that  a  man  who  has  a 
just  feeling  of  the  calamities  of  others,  can  deliberately  break 
through  the  moral  ties  of  any  kind  ;  because  it  is  certain  he 
cannot  do  so,  without  being  the  occasion  of  suffering  to  those 
•who  stand  within  the  influence  of  the  particular  action.  This 
principle  also  will  ever  afford  the  most  unerring  test  of  patri- 
otism, or  the  public  affection  ;  for  the  cruel  and  unrelenting  in 


BOOK  VIII.          OF  PLINY.  ill 


Is  the  season  with  you  as  rude  and  boisterous 
as  it  is  with  us  ?  All  here  is  tempest  and  inun- 
dation. The  Tiber  has  swelled  its  channel,  and 
overflowed  its  banks  far  and  wide.  Though  the 
wise  precaution  of  the  emperor  had  guarded 
against  this  evil,  by  cutting  several  outlets  to  the 
river ;  it  has,  nevertheless,  flooded  all  the  fields 
and  vallies,  and  entirely  overspread  the  whole  face 
of  the  flat  country.  It  seems  to  have  gone  out 
to  meet  those  rivers  which  it  used  to  receive  and 
carry  oif  in  one  united  stream ;  and  has  driven 


private  and  domestic  life,  can  never  act  upon  the  true  notion 
of  liberty,  in  the  more  enlarged  relations  of  public  concerns. 
With  great  justice,  therefore,  our  author  makes  this  generous 
principle  the  evidence  of  real  manhood ;  as  Juvenal  describes 
a  tenderness  of  disposition  to  be  the  principal  note  of  distinc- 
tion, which  nature  has  marked  out  between  the  rational  and 
brute  creation  : 

Mollissima  corda 

Humano  generi  dare  se  iiaturajatetur, 

Qinf  lachrymas  dedit.    Hvec  nostri  pars  optima  sensus. 

Quis  cnim  bonus, — 

Ulla  aliena  sibi  credat  mala '?  separat  hoc 

Nos  a  grege  mutorum •  Satyr.  15.  131. 

Heaven  gave  the  tear  humane,  a  sign  confest, 
Soft  pity  dwells  within  the  mortal  breast ; 

That  noblest  passion  noblest  bosoms  know  ! 

Turn'd  ever  virtue  from  another's  woe  ? 
Tis  man's  great  privilege,  the  glorious  line 
That  marks  from  brute,  the  human  soul  divine. 


them  back  to  deluge  those  countries,  it  could  not 
itself  reach.  That  most  delightful  of  rivers,  the 
Anio,b  which  seems  invited  and  detained  in  its 
course  by  the  charming  villas  that  are  situated 
upon  its  banks,  has  almost  entirely  roote(j  up  and 
carried  away  the  woods  which  shaded  its  borders. 
It  has  overthrown  whole  mountains,  and  in  enr 
deavouring  to  find  a  passage  through  the  ruins 
that  obstructed  its  way,  has  forced  down  houses, 
and  risen  over  the  desolation  it  has  occasioned. 
The  inhabitants  of  the  hill  countries,  who  are  si- 
tuated above  the  reach  of  this  inundation,  have 
been  the  melancholy  spectators  of  its  dreadful 
effects  ;  having  seen  costly  furniture,  instruments, 
of  husbandry,  ploughs,  and  oxen  with  their  dri- 
vers, whole  herds  of  cattle,  together  with  the 
trunks  of  trees,  and  beams  of  the  neighbouring 
villas,  floating  about  in  different  parts.  Nor 
indeed  have  these  more  elevated  places  them- 
selves, to  which  the  waters  could  not  rise,  es- 

b  Now  called  the  Teverope,  which  falls  into  the  Tiber  about 
three  miles  from  Rome.  The  eloquent  Balzac,  speaking  of  a 
little  river,  has  a  thought  which  is  celebrated  by  Boliours  :*  Cctte 
belle  eau  (says  he)  aime  tellement  ce  pais,  quelle  se  divise  en  mil/a 
branches,  fyfait  une  infinite  d'isles  8f  de  tours,  a  fin  de  s'y  amuser 
datantage.  But  he  is  indebted  to  Pliny  for  all  the  merit  of  it, 
as  it  is  plainly  a  copy  from  this  passage  :  an  observation  by  no 
means  intended  as  a  reflection  upon  the  French  writer,  who  has 
too  many  original  beauties  of  his  own  to  suffer  from  a  discove- 
ry of  those  which  are  not ;  it  is  designed  only  to  shew,  that  the 
most  celebrated  author  in  the  epistolary  way  among  the  mo- 
derns, found  advantage  in  conversing  with  Pliny. 

*  Dial,  sur  la  man.  de  bien  pens.  p.  137. 


caped  the  calamity.  A  continued  heavy  rain,  as- 
destructive  as  the  river  itself,  poured  down  in 
torrents  upon  them,  and  has  destroyed  all  the  en- 
closures which  marked  that  fertile  country.  It 
has  damaged,  likewise,  and  even  overturned,  some 
of  the  public  buildings,  where  numbers  have  been 
miserably  buried  in  the -ruins.  And  thus  those, 
people,  besides  the  loss  of  their  effects,  have  suf- 
fered the  additional  misfortune  of  lamenting  their 
friends.  I  am  extremely  uneasy,  lest  this  exten- 
sive ruin  should  have  spread  to  you:  I  beg  there- 
fore, if  it  have  not,  you  will  immediately  ease  me 
of  my  fears.  And  indeed,  I  desire  you  would 
inform  me  though  it  actually  should  ;  for  the  dif- 

O  *f 

ference  is  not  great  between  fearing  a  danger, 
and  feeling  it ;  except  that  the  evil  one  feels  has 
some  bounds,  whereas  one's  apprehensions  have 
none.  For,  we  can  suffer  no  more  than  what 
actually  has  happened,  but  we  fear  all  that  possi- 
bly may  have  happened.  Farewel. 





IT  is  a  mistaken  maxim  too  generally  advanced, 
that  a  man's  will  is  a  kind  of  mirror  wherein  one 
may  clearly  discern  his  genuine  character.  We 
have  a  late  instance  to  the  contrary  in  Domitius 
Tullus,  who  appears  a  much  better  man  since  his 
death,  than  during  his  life.  After  having  artfully 
encouraged  the  expectations  of  those  who  paid 
court  to  him,  with  a  view  to  be  his  heir,  he  has 
left  his  estate  to  his  niece,  whom  he  adopted.— 
He  has  given,  likewise,  several  very  considerable 
legacies  among  his  grand-children,  and  also  to 
his  great-grandson.  In  a  word,  he  has  shewn 
himself  a  kind  relation  throughout  his  whole 
will ;  which  is  so  much  the  more  to  be  admired, 
as  it  was  not  expected.  This  affair  has  been 
much  the  subject  of  conversation ;  some  repre- 
senting him  as  guilty  of  the  basest  falshood  and 
ingratitude  ;  and  while  they  thus  complain,  as  if 
they  were  actually  his  disinherited  kindred, 
their  invectives  betray  the  mean  motives  of  the 
attentions  they  paid  him  :  others,  on  the  con- 
trary, applauding  him  extremely  for  having 
disappointed  the  hopes  of  this  infamous*  tribe 
of  men,  whom,  the  manners  of  the  age  consi- 
a  See  Vol.  I.  Book  iv.  let.  15,  note  a. 

BOOK  VIII.         OF  PLINY.  115 

dered,  it  is  but  prudence  to  deceive.  They  add, 
that  he  was  not  at  liberty  to  make  any  other  -will, 
and  that  he  cannot  so  properly  be  said  to  have 
bequeathed,  as  returned,  his  estate  to  his  adopt- 
ed daughter,  since  it  was  by  her  means  he  be- 
came possessed  of  it.  For,  Curtilius  Mancia, 
whose  daughter  Domitius  Lucanus,  brother  to 
this  Tullus,  married,  having  taken  a  dislike  to  his 
son-in-law,  devised  his  estate  to  this  young  lady, 
(who  was  the  issue  of  that;  marriage)  upon  con- 
dition that  Lucanus,  her  father,  would  emanci- 
pate her.3  He  accordingly  did  so,  but  she  being 
afterwards  adopted  by  Tullus  her  uncle,  the  de- 
sign of  Mancia's  will  was  entirely  frustrated. 
For,  these  two  brothers  having  never  divided 
their  patrimony,  but  living  together  as  joint  te- 
nants of  one  common  estate,  the  daughter  of  Lu- 
canus, notwithstanding  the  act  of  emancipation, 
returned  back  again,  together  with  her  fortune, 


*  That  is,  would  make  her  free ;  for  (as  has  been  observed 
in  the  notes  above)  the  power  of  a  father  over  his  children 
was  unlimited  amongst  the  Romans.  It  extended  not  only  to 
their  fortunes,  but  their  lives,  and  was  even  greater  than  what 
the  laws  allowed  over  their  slaves  ;  for  if  a  master  sold  his 
slave,  who  afterwards  obtained  his  freedom,  the  former  owner 
had  no  farther  claim  ;  whereas,  in  the  case  of  a  son,  the  father's 
right  was  not  absolutely  extinguished  by  the  sale,  but  if  the  son 
obtained  his  freedom,  he  again  c'ame  under  his  dominion. 
This  authority  could  not  be  wholly  disannulled,  till  the  son  had 
been  thrice  sold,  and  as  often  recovered  his  liberty ;  it  then  en- 
tirely ceased.  The  law  vested  the  same  power  likewise  as  fully 
in  the  adoptive  father,  as  in  the  natural.  Justinian  observes, 
this  authority  was  peculiar  to  the  Romans,  and  allowed  by  u<J 
other  nation  whatsoever.  Inst.  1.  1. 

116  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VIII. 

under  the  dominion  of  her  father,  in  consequence 
of  this  fraudulent  adoption.  It  seems,  indeed, 
to  have  been  the  fate  of  these  two  brothers,  to 
be  enriched  by  those  who  had  the  greatest  aver- 
sion to  them.  For,  Domitius  Afer,  by  whom 
they  were  adopted,  left  a  will  in  their  favour, 
which  he  had  made  eighteen  years  before  his 
death ;  though  it  was  plain  he  had  altered  his 
sentiments  with  respect  to  the  family,  because  he 
-was  instrumental  in  procuring  the  confiscation  of 
their  father's  estate.  There  is  something  extreme- 
ly singular  in  the  resentment  of  Afer,  and  the 
good  fortune  of  the  other  two ;  as  it  was  very 
extraordinary,  on  the  one  hand,  that  Domitius 
should  endeavour  to  proscribe  the  man  whose 
children  he  had  adopted,  and  on  the  other,  that 
these  brothers  should  find  a  parent  in  the  very 
person  that  ruined  their  father.  But  Tullus  act- 
ed justly,  after  having  been  appointed  sole  heir 
by  his  brother,  in  prejudice  to  his  own  daughter, 
to  ^restore  to  her  this  estate  which  came  to  him 
from  Afer,  as  well  as  to  devise  to  her  all  the  for- 
tune which  he  possessed  in  common  with  his  bro- 
ther. His  will,  therefore,  deserves  the  highest 
commendation,  as  it  is  the  dictates  of  nature,  jus- 
tice, and  honour;  having  thereby  returned  his 
obligations  to  his  several  relations,  according  to 
their  respective  good  offices  towards  him.  He 
has  made  a  just  acknowledgment  likewise  to  his 



wife,  having  by  his  will  given  to  that  excellent 
woman,  who  patiently  endured  much  upon  his 
account,  several  delightful  villas,  besides  a  large 
sum  of  money.  Indeed,  she  deserved  so  much 
the  more  at  his  hands,  as  she  was  greatly  cen- 
sured for  her  marriage  with  him.  It  was  thought 
unworthy  a  person  of  her  rank  and  merit,  after 
having  had  a  former  husband,  by  whom  she  had 
issue,  to  marry,  in  the  decline  of  her  life,  an  old 
man,  merely  for  his  wealth,  and  who  was  so  sick- 
ly and  infirm,  that,  even  had  he  passed  the  best 
years  of  his  youth  and  health  with  her,  she  might 
well  have  been  disgusted  with  him.  He  had  so 
entirely  lost  the  use  of  all  his  limbs,  that  he  could 
not  move  himself  in  bed  without  assistance  ;  and 
the  only  enjoyment  he  had  of  his  riches,  was  to 
contemplate  them.  He  was  even  reduced  to  the 
wretched  necessity  (and  one  cannot  mention  it 
without  loathing  as  well  as  pity)  of  having  his 
teeth  washed  and  cleansed  by  others  ;  in  allusion 
to  which,  he 'used  frequently  to  say,  when  he  was 
complaining  of  the  indecencies  which  his  infirmi- 
ties obliged  him  to  suffer,  that  he  was  every  day 
compelled  to  lick  his  servant's  fingers.  Still, 
however,  he  lived  on,  and  was  willing  to  accept 
of  life  upon  these  miserable  terms.  That  he  lived 
so  long,  was  particularly  owing,  indeed,  to  the 
care  of  his  wife,  who,  whatever  reputation  she 
might  lose  at  first  by  her  marriage,  acquired 
VOL.  II.  .  /I  great 

118  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  VIII. 

great  honour  by  her  conduct  towards  him  during 
its  continuance. 

Thus  I  have  given  you  all  the  news  of  the 
town,  where  nothing  is  talked  of  but  Tullus.  It 
is  expected  his  curiosities  will  shortly  be  sold  by 
auction.  He  had  such  an  abundant  collection  of 
ancient  statues,  that  he  actually  filled  an  exten- 
sive garden  with  them,  the  very  same  day  he 
purchased  it ;  not  to  mention  numberless  other 
antiques,  which  stood  neglected  in  a  lumber-? 

Now,  if  you  have  any  thing  worth  communi- 
cating, in  return,  I  hope  you  will  not  refuse  the 
trouble  of  giving  me  the  intelligence  ;  not  only  as 
we  are  all  of  us  naturally  fond,  you  know,  of 
news,  but  because  interesting  anecdotes  afford 
examples  which  may  be  of  use  in  respect  to  our 
own  conduct.  Farewel. 


JViY  studies  prove  both  an  entertainment  and 
consolation  to  me ;  and  as  there  is  no  pleasure  I 
prefer  to  them,  so  there  is  no  uneasiness  they  do 
not  alleviate.  In  this  season,  therefore,  of  dejec- 
tion, occasioned  by  the  indisposition  of  my  wife, 
the  dangerous  sickness  of  some  of  my  servants, 
and  the  death  of  others,  I  have  recourse  to  my 


BOOK  VIII.          OF  PLINY.  11$ 

books,  as  to  the  sovereign  consolers  of  my  sorrows. 
It  is  true,  indeed,  they  teach  me  a  greater  sensi- 
bility to  misfortunes,  but  they  teach  me,  too,  how 
to  bear  them  with  more  patience.  It  is  an  esta- 
blished rule  with  me,  before  I  publish  any  of  my 
productions,  to  consult  the  judgment  of  my 
friends,  and  especially  yours.  I  request  you, 
therefore,  to  examine,  with  particular  care,  the 
performance  I  here  send  you,  as  I  am  afraid  the 
disquietude  of  my  mind  may  have  prevented  me 
from  giving  it  the  attention  I  ought.  For, 
though  I  could  command  my  grief  so  far  as  to 
sit  down  to  write,  I  was  not  sufficiently  master  of 
my  heart,  to  do  so  with  ease  and  cheerfulness : 
but  if  study  naturally  tends  to  compose  the  mind, 
the  mind  must  be  previously  in  a  composed  state 
to  give  a  proper  effect  to  our  studies.  Farewel. 

To  GAL r. us. 

THOSE  works  of  art  or  nature,  which  are  usually 
the  motives  of  our  travels,  are  often  overlooked 
and  neglected,  if  they  happen  to  lie  within  our 
reach;  whether  it  be  that  we  are  naturally  less 
inquisitive  concerning  those  things  which  are 
near  us,  while  our  curiosity  is  excited  by  remote 
objects ;  or  because  the  easiness  of  gratifying  a 
desire  is  always  sure  to  damp  it;  or,  perhaps, 

I  2  that . 


that  we  defer,  from  time  to  time,  viewing,  what 
we  know  we  have  an  opportunity  of  seeing  when- 
ever we  please,  Be  the  reason  what  it  may,  it  is 
certain  there  are  several  rarities  in  and  near  Rome, 
which  we  not  only  have  never  seen,  but  have 
never  so  much  as  heard  of;  and  yet,  if  they  had 
been  the  production  of  Greece,  or  Egypt,  or  Asia, 
or  any  other  country  which  we  admire  as  fruitful 
in  wonders,  they  would,  long  since,  have  been 
the  subjects  both  of  our  reading,  conversation, 
and  inspection.  For  myself,  at  least,  I  confess  I 
have  lately  been  entertained  with  a  sight  of  one 
of  these  our  indigenous  singularities,  to  which  I 
was  an  entire  stranger  before.  My  wife's  grand- 
father desired  I  would  look  upon  his  estate  near 
Ameria.3  As  I  was  walking  over  his  grounds,  I 
was  shewn  a  lake  that  lies  below  them,  called 
Vadimon,b  which  I  was  informed  had  several  very 
extraordinary  qualities  attending  it.  This  raised 
my  curiosity  to  take  a  nearer  view.  Its  form  is 
exactly  circular ;  there  is  not  the  least  obliquity 
or  winding,  but  all  is  regular  and  even,  as  if  it 
had  been  hollowed  and  cut  out  by  the  hand  of 
art.  The  water  is  of  a  clear  sky  blue,  though 
with  somewhat  of  a  greenish  cast ;  it  seems,  by 
its  taste  and  smell,  impregnated  with  sulphur,, 
and  is  deemed  of  great  efficacy  in  all  fractures  of 


*  Now  called  Amelia,  an  episcopal  city  in  Ombria. 
b  Now  called  Logo  di  Bassancllo, 


the  limbs,  which  it  is  supposed  to  consolidate. 
Notwithstanding  it  is  but  of  a  moderate  extent, 
yet  the  winds  have  a  great  effect  upon  it,  fre- 
quently throwing  it  into  violent  commotions. 
No  vessels  are  suffered  to  sail  here,  as  its  waters 
are  held  sacred,0  but  several  floating  islands'1  swim 
about  in  it,  covered  with  reeds  and  rushes,  toge- 
ther with  other  plants,  which  the  neighbouring 
marsh  and  the  borders  of  the  lake  produce. 
These  islands  differ  in  their  size  and  shape;  but 
the  edges  of  all  of  them  are  worn  away  by  their 
frequent  collision  against  the  shore  and  each 
other.  They  have  all  of  them  the  same  height 
and  motion,  and  their  respective  roots,  which  are 
formed  like  the  keel  of  a  boat,  may  be  seen  hang- 
ing down  in  the  water,  on  whichever  side  you 
stand.  Sometimes  they  move  in  a  cluster,  and 
seem  to  form  one  entire  little  continent;  sometimes 
they  are  dispersed  into  different  quarters  by  the 
winds  ;  at  other  times,  when  it  is  calm,  they  float 
up  and  down  separately.  You  may  frequently 


c  See  above,  note  b  letter  8.  of  this  book. 

d  The  credit  of  this  account  does  not  rest  entirely  upon  our 
author :  Pliny  the  elder  mentions  these  floating  islands,  [1.  2. 
95.]  and  so  does  Seneca,  who  accounts  f6r  them  upon  philoso- 
phical principles.  [Q.  N.  1.  3.  25.]  Varenius  says,  that  in  Hon- 
duras, a  province  in  America,  there  is  a  lake  in  which  are  several 
little  hills  planted  with  shrubs,  &c.  tossed  up  and  down  by  the 
winds.  And  he  quotes  Boethius,  the  Scots  historian,  who 
affirms,  that,  in  a  large  Loch,  called  Lomond  Loch,  in  Scotland, 
there  is  a  floating  island,  upon  which  cattle  graze.  See  Varen. 
Geogr.  vol.  1.  p.  412. 


122  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  VIII. 

see  one  of  the  larger  islands  sailing  along  with  a 
lesser  joined  to  it,  like  a  ship  with  its  long  boat; 
or,  perhaps,  seeming  to  strive  which  shall  out- 
swim  the  other  :  then  again  they  all  assemble  in 
one  station,  and  afterwards  joining  themselves  to 
the  shore,  sometimes  on  one  side,  and  sometimes 
on  the  other,  cause  the  lake  to  appear  considerably 
less,  till  at  last  uniting  in  the  centre,  they  restore 
it  to  its  usual  size.  The  sheep  which  graze  upon 
the  borders  of  this  lake,  frequently  go  upon  these 
islands  to  feed,  without  perceiving  that  they 
have  left  the  shore,  till  they  are  alarmed  by  find- 
ing themselves  surrounded  with  water;  and  in 
the  same  manner  when  the  wind  drives  them  back 
again,  they  return  without  being  sensible  that 
they  are  landed.  This  lake  empties  itself  into  a 
river,  which,  after  running  a  little  way,  sinks  un- 
der ground;  and  if  any  thing  is  thrown  in,  brings 
it  up  again  where  the  stream  emerges,  I  have 
given  you  this  account,  because  I  imagined  it 
would  not  be  less  new,  nor  less  agreeable  to  you, 
than  it  was  to  me ;  as  I  know  you  take  the  same 
pleasure  as  myself,  in  contemplating  the  works  of 
nature.  Farewel. 


BOOK  VIII.          OF  PLINY.  123 


NOTHING,  in  my  opinion,  gives  a  more  amia- 
ble and  becoming  grace  to  our  studies  as  well  as 
manners,  than  to  temper  the  serious  with  the 
gay,  lest  the  former  should  degenerate  into  au- 
stereness,  and  the  latter  run  up  into  levity.  Upon 
this  maxim  it  is,  that  I  diversify  my  graver  works 
with  compositions  of  a  lighter  nature.  I  had 
chosen  a  convenient  place  and  season  for  some 
productions  of  that  sort  to  make  their  appearance 
in ;  and  designing  to  accustom  them  early  to  the 
tables  of  the  idle,  I  fixed  upon  the  month  of 
July,3  which  is  usually  a  time  of  vacation  to  the 


a  The  months  of  July  and  August  was  a  time  of  vacation  to 
the  Roman  lawyers,  the  courts  ot  justice  being  then  shut  up, 
that  the  farmers  might  not  be  interrupted  in  their  harvest,  by 
being  obliged  to  attend  their  law-suits  at  Rome. 

messesque  reverses 

Dimisere  Forum  ;  nee  jam  tibi  turba  reorum 
lrestibulo,  qucruliqite  rogant  exire  clientes  ; 
Cessat  centeni  moderatrixjudicis  hasta. 

Statius  Syl.  1.  4.  50. 

Returning  harvest  bids  contention  cease, 
And  through  the  wrangling  Forum  all  is  peace; 
No  teazing  clients  now  besiege  thy  way, 
Nor  judges  sage  the  solemn  spear  display. 

Nevertheless  the  courts,  as  appears  from  this  letter,  were  some- 
times opened  during  this  season  of  vacation,  upon  cases,  pej- 
baps,  of  particular  emergency. 


124  THE  LETTERS      BOOK  VII t 

courts  of  justice,  in  order  to  read  them  to  some 
of  my  friends  at  supper :  and,  accordingly,  I 
placed  a  desk  before  each  couch.1  But  as  I  hap- 
pened that  morning-  to  be  unexpectedly  called 
away  to  attend  a  cause,  I  took  occasion  to  pre- 
face my  recital  with  an  apology.  I  entreated  my 
audience  not  to  impute  it  to  me  as  any  want  of 
due  regard  for  the  business  to  which  I  had  in- 
vited them,  that,  on  the  very  day  I  had  appointed 
to  read  my  performances  to  some  of  my  friends, 
(though  indeed  but  few)  I  did  not  refuse  my 
good  offices  to  others  in  their  law-affairs.  I  as- 
sured them,  I  would  observe  the  same  rule  in  my 
writings,  and  should  always  give  the  preference  to 
matters  of  importance,  before  those  of  entertain- 
ment ;  to  serious  engagements,  before  amusing 
ones ;  and  to  the  business  of  my  friends,  before 
my  own.  The  poems  I  recited  consisted  of  a 
variety  of  subjects  in  different  measures.  It  is- 
by  such  arts  as  these,  we,  who  dare  not  rely  upon 
the  single  force  of  our  genius,  endeavour  to  avoid 
satiating  our  readers.  In  compliance  with  the 
earnest  solicitation  of  my  audience,  I  recited  du- 
ring two  days  successively  ;  but  not  in  the  man- 
ner that  several  practise,  by  making  a  merit  of 
passing  over  the  less  shining  passages ;  on  the 
contrary,  I  omitted  nothing,  and  freely  confes- 

aThe  ancient  Ramans  lay  extended  upon  couches  during 
their  suppers,  which  were  always  in  the  evening,  that  time  be- 
ing the  general  hour  of  their  principal  meal. 


sed  it.  I  read  the  whole,  that  I  might  correct 
the  whole ;  which  it  is  impossible  those  who 
only  select  particular  passages,  should  do.  The 
latter  method,  indeed,  may  have  more  the  appear- 
ance of  modesty,  and  perhaps  respect ;  but  the 
former  shews  a  greater  ingenuousness,  as 'well  as 
a  more  affectionate  disposition  towards  the  au- 
dience. For,  the  belief  that  a  man's  friends  have 
so  much  regard  to  him,  as  not  to  be  weary  upon 
these  occasions,  is  a  sure  indication  of  the  love  he 
bears  them.  To  say  the  truth,  one  has  little 
obligation  to  an  audience,  if  they  assemble  merely 
with  a  view  to  their  own  entertainment.  He  who 
had  rather  find  his  friend's  performance  correct, 
than  make  it  so,  is  to  be  considered  as  a  stranger, 
or  one  who  is  too  indolent  to  give  himself  any 
trouble.  Your  friendship  for  me  leaves  me  no 
room  to  doubt  that  you  are  impatient  to  read  my 
book,  even  in  its  present  very  imperfect  state; 
and  so  you  shall,  but  not  till  I  have  made  those 
corrections,  which  were  the  principal  inducement 
of  my  recital.  You  are  already  acquainted  with 
some  parts  of  it ;  but  even  those,  after  they  shall 
have  been  polished  (or,  perhaps,  spoiled,  as  is 
sometimes  the  case  by  too  frequent  revisals)  will 
seem  new  to  you.  For  when  a  composition  has 
undergone  various  changes,  it  acquires  an  air  of 
novelty  even  in  those  very  parts  which  remaia 
unaltered.  Farewel. 



To  GEM  IN  ITU  s. 

HAVE  you  never  observed  a  sort  of  people,  whoy 
though  they  are  themselves  the  abject  slaves  of 
every  vice,  shew  a  kind  of  malicious  indignation 
against  the  immoral  conduct  of  others ;  and  are 
most  severe  to  those  whom  they  most  resemble  ? 
yet,  surely,  a  lenity  of  disposition,  even  in  persons 
who  have  the  least  occasion  for  clemency  them- 
selves, is,  of  all  virtues,  the  most  becoming.  The 
highest  of  characters,  in  my  estimation,  is  hist 
who  is  as  ready  to  pardon  the  moral  errors  of 
mankind,  as  if  he  were  every  day  guilty  of  some 
himself;  and  at  the  same  time  as  cautious  of  com- 
mitting a  fault,  as  if  he  never  forgave  one.  It 
is  a  rule,  then,  which  we  should  upon  all  occa- 
sions, both  private  and  public,  most  religiously 
observe,  "  to  bfe  inexorable  to  our  own  failings, 
'•  while  we  treat  those  of  the  rest  of  the  world 
"  with  tenderness,  not  excepting  even  those  who 
"  forgive  none  but  themselves;"  remembering 
always  what  the  humane,  and,  therefore,  as  well 
as  upon  other  accounts,  the  great  Thrasea  used 
frequently  to  say  :  He  who  hates  vice  hales  man- 
kind.* You  will  ask  me,  perhaps,  who  it  is  that 


*  The  meaning  of  this  maxim  seems  to  be,  that,  as  it  is  ex- 
tremely difficult  to  separate  the  action  from  the  raa'n,  \ve  should 


BOOK  VIII.         OF  PLINY.  127 

lias  given  occasion  to  these  reflections  ?  You 
must  know  a  certain  person  lately — but  of  that 
when  we  meet— though,  upon  second  thoughts, 
not  even  then,  lest,  whilst  I  condemn  and  expose 
his  conduct,  I  should  act  counter  to  that  maxim 
I  particularly  recommend.  Whoever,  therefore, 
and  whatever  he  is,  shall  remain  in  silence  :  for, 
though  there  may  be  some  use,  perhaps,  in  setting 
a  mark  upon  the  man,  for  the  sake  of  example  ; 
there  will  be  more,  however,  in  sparing  him,  for 
the  sake  of  humanity.  Farewel. 


THE  deep  concern  J  am  under  for  the  death  of* 
Junius  Avitus,  has  rendered  me  incapable  either 
of  business,  study,  or  amusement.  He  was  in- 
vested with  the  laticlaveb  in  my  house;  as  in  all 
the  honours  he  solicited,  he  was  constantly  as- 

hot  suffer  the  errors  of  the  world  to  raise  in  us  that  acrimony 
of  indignation,  which,  if  well  examined,  perhaps,  will  be  oftener 
found  to  proceed  from  some  secret  principle  of  malice,  than  a 
just  abhorrence  of  vice  ;  Satins  est  (as  Seneca  observes)  publi- 
cos  mores  fyhumana  vitia,plucide  accipcre:  a  general  philanthropy 
and  universal  benevolence  being  the  most  genuine  marks,  by 
which  virtue  distinguishes  those  who  are  truly  in  her  interest. — • 
If  this  sense  be  admitted,  there  is  no  need  to  suppose  (with 
some  of  the  commentators)  that  any  mistake  has  crept  into  the 

k  See  Vol.  I.  Book  ii.  let.  $.  note  a. 



sisted  by  my  interest.  I  will  add  too,  his  af- 
fection and  esteem  for  me  were  so  great,  that  he 
formed  his  manners,  and  regulated  his  conduct 
by  my  guidance  and  direction  :  a  disposition  ex- 
tremely uncommon  in  the  youth  of  this  age ;  for, 
who  among  them  will  now  deign  to  submit  to 
the  experience  and  authority  of  their  superiors  ? 
They  think  themselves  at  once  in  full  possession 
of  all  wisdom  and  knowledge  ;  and  without  re- 
vering or  imitating  the  virtues  of  any,  imagine 
they  are  a  sufficient  example  to  themselves.  But 
Avitus  was  of  a  far  different  turn;  he  shewed 
his  wisdom,  in  believing  there  were  some  who 
had  more ;  and  discovered  his  knowledge,  in  his 
desire  to  learn,  He  was  ever  consulting  his 
friends  upon  some  point  relating  to  his  studies,, 
or  his  conduct;  and  he  always  returned  from 
them  with  advantage,  either  by  the  advice  he  re- 
ceived, or  the  disposition  he  shewed.  With  what 
respect  did  he  treat  Servianus,  one  of  the  most 
accomplished  men  of  the  age  !  Avitus  knew  how 
to  value  such  uncommon  merit,  as  well  as  to  en- 
dear himself  to  him  in  his  turn.  Accordingly, 
when  Servianus  went  lieutenant  from  Germany 
into  Pannonia,*  he  attended  him  as  tribune ;  not 
so  much  in  the  character  of  his  fellow-soldier,  as 
of  his  friend  and  admirer.  With  what  care  and 


*  A  very  extensive  province,  comprehending  part  of  Austria, 
Hungary,  &c%. 

BOOK  VIII.         OF  PLINY.  129 

integrity  did  he   execute   the  office  of  quaestor 
under  several  consuls,  who  all  esteemed  him,  not 
only  as  an  useful  and  experienced  officer,  but  as 
an  easy  and  agreeable  companion  !    With  what 
zeal   and   application    did    he   solicit   this  very 
aedileship,*  from  the  enjoyment  of  which  he  is 
now  prematurely  snatched  !  a  reflection  that  gives 
a  peculiar  poignancy  to  my  affliction  for  the  loss 
of  him.     His  unavailing  labours,  his  fruitless  as-» 
siduities,  and  the  honour  which  he  merited  only, 
not  enjoyed,   are  for  ever  in  my  thoughts.     The 
circumstance  of  his  having  first  put  on  the  lati- 
clave  under  my  roof;  the  first  and  the  last  suffrage 
I  ever  gq,ve  him  ;  the  conversations  we  have  had, 
and  the  consultations  we  have  held,  all  return, 
fresh  upon  my  mind.     I  am  struck  with  the  most 
tender  sorrow  when  I  consider  his  youth,  and  re-« 
fleet  upon  the  irreparable  loss  his  family  has  sus- 
tained :  an  aged  parent  ;  a  young  wife,  to  whom 
he  had  not  been  married  much  above  a  year ;  an 
infant  daughter,  just   born;    so  many  pleasing 
hopes,  so  many  tender  joys,  all  reversed  and  de-? 
stroyed  in  one  day  !    When  he  was  just  elected 

asdile ; 

b  The  zediles  were,  at  first,  two  officers  chosen  out  of  the  body 
of  the  commons,  in  order  to  assist  the  tribunes  in  the  discharga 
of  some  particular  parts  of  their  functions,  the  chief  of  which 
was  the  care  of  public  edifices.  Others  were  afterwards  elect- 
ed out  of  the  nobility,  to  inspect  public  games,  determine 
causes  relating  to  the  selling  or  exchanging  of  estates,  to  su- 
pervise the  public  stores  of  corn,  and  other  provisions,  &c.  Ken. 
Aritiq.  p.  116,  117. 


when  he  had  lately  commenced  a  bride- 
groom :  when  he  was  newlv  made  a  father — he  was 


suddenly  snatched  from  the  midst  of  these  sa- 
tisfactions ;  and  has  left  behind  him  an  honour 
untasted,  a  mother  inconsolable,  a  widowed  wife, 
and  an  orphan  infant,  who  will  have  the  misfor- 
tune of  never  having  known  her  father !  But 
what  increases  my  tears  upon  this  melancholy  oc- 
casion is,  that,  being  absent  when  this  accident 
happened,  I  never  knew  of  his  sickness,  till  I 
heard  of  his  death ;  and  had  no  time  to  prepare 
myself  for  this  cruel  stroke,  by  previously  appre- 
hending it ! — Such  is  the  present  distress  of  my 
mind  ! — You  must  not  wonder  then  that  it  is 
the  whole  subject  of  my  letter ;  for  I  am  not 
able,  at  present,  to  think  or  talk  of  any  thing 
else.  Farewel. 


1  H  E  friendship  I  profess  for  you,  induces 
me,,  not  indeed  to  direct  (for  you  are  far  above 
the  want  of  a  guide)  but,  to  remind  you  how- 
ever, of  what  you  already  know,  and  to  ad- 
monish you  carefully  to  observe  and  firmly 
to  put  it  in  practice ;  in  other  words,  to  know 
it  to  all  the  more  useful  purposes  of  knowledge. 


BOOK  VIII.          OF  PLINY.  131 

You  will  consider  yourself  as  sent  to  that  noble 
province,  Achaia,  the  real  and  genuine  Greece, 
where  politeness,  learning,  and  even  agriculture 
itself,  are  supposed  to  have  taken  their  first  rise ; 
as  sent  to  govern  a  state  composed  of  free  cities; 
that  is,  to  a  society  of  men  who  breathe  the  spirit 
of  true  manhood  and  liberty,3  .who  maintained 
the  rights  they  received  from  nature,  by  courage, 
by  virtue,  by  alliances  •  in  a  word,  by  civil  and 


*  "  It  is  remarkable,  that  even  after  Greece  was  absorbed 
in  the  Roman  empire,  and  became  a  province  to  it  under  the 
name  of  Achaia,  it  did  not  lose,  with  its  power  and  sovereign- 
ty, that  lively  sense  and  love  of  liberty,  which  was  the  pecu- 
liar character  of  that  people,  amongst  whom  the  arts  were 
produced,  and  brought  to  perfection.  The  Roman?,  when 
they  had  subdued  Greece,  left  that  generous,  brave,  polite 
people,  in  possession  of  many  of  their  rights  and  privileges., 
And  they  maintained  such  an  ardent  zsa)  for  liberty,  that, 
to  name  no  other  instances  of  it,  when  the  civil  waraihuppened 
in  Italy,  the  Athenians  very  warmly  espoused  the  part  of 
Pompey,  who  fought  for  the  republic  :  and  after  Ca?sar  was 
killed,  they  erected  statues  in  honour  of  Brutus  and  Cassius, 
near  to  those  of  Harmodius  and  Aristogiton,  their  ancient 
deliverers.  It  was  hence  Greece,  Athens  in  particular,  after 
it  was  very  much  fallen  and  degenerated,  continued  still  to  be 
the  metropolis  of  sciences,  the  school  of  all  the  fine  arts,  the 
standard  and  centre  of  good  taste  in  all  works  of  genius,  to 
Cicero's  time,  and  long  afterwards ;  insomuch,  that  Rome 
sent  its  mos£  illustrious  youth  to  be  perfected  there  in  polite 
literature,  eloquence,  philosophy,  and  all  the  ingenious  arts 
and  sciences;  and  the  emperors  who  loved  learning,  if  they 
could  not  go  to  Greece  and  become  scholars  there,  as  some 
of  them  did,  brought  Greece  to  them,  by  inviting  and  receiv- 
ing into  their  palaces  its  most  celebrated  professors  and  artists, 
and  even  entrusting  the  education  of  their  children  with  Greek 
masters.  Now,  their  continuing  to  excel  in  the  arts  and 
sciences,  to  what  else  can  it  be  attributed,  but  to  this,  that 
with  some  small  remains  of  liberty,  they  retained  the  spirit 

"  of 


religious  faith.  Revere  the  gods  and  heroes  their 
founders ;  the  glory  of  their  ancient  days  ;  and 
even  that  very  antiquity  itself;  for  age,  as  it  is 
venerable  in  men,  is  in  states  sacred.  Honour 
them,  therefore,  for  their  deeds  of  old  renown ; 
for  those  which  true,  and  (I  do  not  scruple  to  add) 
which  fabulous,  history  has  recorded.  Indulge 
them  in  the  full  exercise  of  their  dignities,  their 
privileges,  and  their  very  vanity.  Remember, 
it  was  from  this  nation  we  derived  our  laws  ;bthat 
she  did  not  receive  ours  by  conquest,  but  gave 
ns  her  own  in  consequence  of  our  particular  re- 
quest Remember,  it  is  Athens  that  you  ap- 
proach ;  it  is  Lacadasmon  you  govern :  and  to 
deprive  so  renowned  a  people  of  the  declining 
shadow,  the  remaining  na^ne  of  liberty,  would  be 

a  hardship, 

"  of  liberty,  the  love  of  it,  and  zeal  for  it  ?  It  was,  indeed,  in 
*'  consequence  of  this  alone,  that  they  maintained,  in  some  de- 
*'  gree,  even  till  Italy  was  quite  over-run  with  barbarism,  a  SOT 
*'  vereignty  the  Romans  could  not  take  from  them  ;  asovereign- 
"  ty  in  science,  arts,  and  good  taste.  'Tis  impossible  to  ac- 
*'  count  for  it  in  any  other  way  :  they  preserved  the  arts  in  a 
"  very  great  degree,  because  they  retained  the  spirit  of  liberty 
"  in  a  very  extraordinary  one."  Turnbutt  &n  Ancient  Paintmg> 
f.  100. 

b  About  the  year  of  Rome  300,  that  is,  452  years  before 
Christ,  embassadors  were  sent  into  Greece,  to  make  a  collection 
of  such  laws  and  customs,  as  the  wisdom  of  that  polite  people 
tad  established,  particularly  the  famous  ones  of  Solon.  At 
their  return,  these  laws  were  approved  and  confirmed,  and,  to- 
gether with  some  additional  ones,  were  engraven  on  ten  tables  of 
brass.  Two  other  tables  of  laws  were  soon  afterwards  added  to 
these,  which,  together  with  the  former,  went  by  the  name  of  the 
twelve  tabfes,  and  were  looked  upon  as  the  fountain  of  all  law, 
public  and  private.  Lti.  I.  3.  c.  3.1.  I'crricre  Hist,  des  Lois, 
fh .  c.  5. 

BOCK  VIII.          OF  PLINY.  133 

a  hardship,  would  be  even  a  barbarity  of  the  se- 
verest kind.  Physicians,  you  see,  though  with 
respect  to  diseases  there  is  no  difference  between 
the  free  and  the  slave,  yet  treat  persons  of  the 
former  rank  with  more  tenderness  than  those  of 
the  latter.  Reflect  on  the  illustrious  figure  these 
cities  once  made ;  but  so  reflect,  as  not  to  des- 
pise them  for  what  they  now  are.  Far  be  pride 
and  asperity  from  my  friend  ;  nor  fear  by  a  pro- 
per condescension,  to  lay  yourself  open  to  con- 
tempt. Can  he  who  is  vested  with  the  power 
and  bears  the  ensigns  of  authority,  can  he  fail  of 
meeting  with  respect,  unless  by  pursuing  base 
and  sordid  measures,  and  first  breaking  through 
that  awful  reverence  he  owes  to  himself?  Ill, 
believe  me,  is  power  proved  by  insult;  ill  can 
terror  command  veneration  :  and  far  more  effica- 
cious is  affection  in  obtaining  one's  purpose,  than 
fear.  For  terror  operates  no  longer  than  its  ob- 
ject is  present,  but  love  produces  its  effects  when 
the  object  is  at  a  distance :  and  as  absence 
changes  the  former  into  hatred,  it  raises  the  lat- 
ter into  respect.  It  behoves  you,  therefore,  (and 
I  cannot  repeat  it  too  often)  it  behoves  you  well 
to  consider  the  end  of  your  office,  and  to  repre- 
sent to  yourself  how  great  and  important  is  the 
administration  of  governing  a  free  state.  For, 
what  is  more  becoming  our  social  nature  than 
well  regulated  government,  or  more  valuable  than 
Vox,  II.  K  liberty? 


liberty?  How  ignominious  then  must  his  con- 
duct be,  who  turns  the  first  into  anarchy,  and 
the  last  into  slavery  ?  To  these  considerations 
let  me  add,  that  you  have  an  established  reputa- 
tion to  maintain  :  the  fame  you  acquired  by  the 
function  of  the  quasstorship  in  Bythinia;6  the 
good  opinion  of  the  emperor :  the  credit  you  ob- 
tained when  you  were  tribune  and  praetor  ;  in  a 
word,  this  very  government,  which  may  be  look- 
ed upon  as  the  reward  of  your  former  services  ; 
are  so  many  glorious  weights  which  are  incum- 
bent upon  you  to  support  with  suitable  dignity. 
The  more  earnestly,  therefore,  ought  you  to  en- 
deavour that  it  may  not  be  said  you  shewed 
greater  urbanity,  integrity,  and  ability,  in  a  rude 
province,  remote  from  Rome,  than  in  one  which 
lies  so  much  nearer  to  the  capital ;  in  the  midst 
of  a  nation  of  slaves,  than  among  a  free  people  ; 
that  it  may  not  be  remarked,  that  it  was  chance, 
and  not  judgment,  appointed  you  to  this  office; 
when  your  character  was  unknown  and  unex- 
perienced, not  tried  and  approved.  For,  it  is  a 
maxim  which  your  reading  and  conversation 
must  have  often  suggested  to  you,  that  it  is  a 
far  greater  disgrace  to  lose  the  fame  one  has  once 
attained,  than  never  to  have  acquired  it.  I  again 
beg  you  to  be  persuaded  that  I  did  not  write  this 
letter  as  presuming  to  instruct,  but  to  remind 


c  A  province  in  Anatolia,  or  Asia  the  less. 

BOOK  VIII.         OF  PLINY.  135 

you.  Though,  indeed,  if  I  had,  it  would  have 
only  been  in  consequence  of  the  great  affection 
I  bear  you ;  a  sentiment  which  I  am  in  no  appre- 
hension of  carrying  beyond  its  just  limits  ;  for, 
there  can  be  no  danger  of  excess  where  one  can* 
not  love  too  well.  Farewel, 







I  HAVE  frequently  advised  you,  to  be  as  expe- 
ditious as  possible  in  publishing  what  you  have 
written  either  in  defence  of  yourself,  or  against 
Planta;  or  rather  indeed  (as  the  circumstances 
of  the  case  demanded)  what  you  drew  up  with 
both  those  views :  but  I  particularly  press  this 
advice  upon  you  now  that  I  hear  he  is  dead.  For 
though  you  read  this  piece  to  several  of  your 
friends,  and  put  it  into  the  hands  of  others,  yet 
I  should  be  extremely  sorry  that  the  world 
should  suspect  you  did  not  venture  to  compose, 
till  after  his  death,  what  it  is  most  certain  you 

K  3  had 

138  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  IX. 

had  finished  during  his  life.  Let  not  the  charac- 
ter my  friend  has  acquired  of  firmness  and  reso- 
lution be  called  in  question  ;  as  it  will  not,  when 
both  the  candid  and  the  malicious  world  shall 
know,  that  the  death  of  your  adversary  did  not 
give  you  the  confidence  of  writing,  but  only  an- 
ticipated the  opportunity  of  publishing  this  piece. 
Thus  you  will  avoid  the  imputation, 

With  coward  joy  to  triumph  o'er  the  dead  :* 

For  what  you  wrote  and  actually  recited  before 
his  death,  will  be  considered  as  published  during 
his  life,  provided  you  publish  it  soon.  If,  there - 
'fore,  you  have  any  other  work  upon  your  hands, 
let  me  entreat  you  to  lay  it  a_side,  and  give  your 
last  finishing  touches  to  this  performance.  It 
seemed  to  me,  indeed,  when  I  formerly  read  it, 
to  want  no  improvements ;  and  so  it  ought  to 
seem  now  to  you,  as  neither  the  subject  requires, 
nor  the  time  will  admit,  of  longer  delay.  Farevvel. 


•  Horn.  Od.  lib.  22. 

BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  139 



JL  OUR  request  that  I  would  write  to  you  fre- 
quent and  long  letters,  is  very  pleasing  to  me. — • 
If  I  have  forborne  to  do  so,  it  is  partly  in  consi- 
deration of  the  important  affairs  in  which  you 
are  employed ;  and  partly  from  some  very  cold 
and  uninteresting  occupations  of  my  own,  which 
engage  my  thoughts,  and  damp  my  imagination. 
Besides,  I  have  not  a  sufficient  supply  of  matter 
for  frequent  letters ;  and  am  by  no  means  in  the 
same  situation  that  Tully  was,  whom  you  point 
out  to  me  as  an  example.  He  not  only  possessed 
a  most  enlarged  genius,  but  the  circumstances  of 
the  times  wherein  he  lived,  furnished  him  with  a 
variety  of  noble  occasions  of  exercising  it.  As 
for  myself,  you  know  (without  my  telling  you) 
to  what  narrow  limits  I  am  confined,  unless  my 
letters  were  to  turn  upon  the  fictitious  and  pe- 
dantic topics  of  the  schools.  But  when  I  con- 
sider you  in  the  midst  of  arms  and  encampments, 
animated  by  martial  music,  or  fatigued  with  toil 
and  heat ;  how  absurd  would  it  be  to  talk  to  you 
upon  such  subjects  ?  -  This  is  my  apology,  and  I 
think  it  a  reasonable  one ;  however,  I  almost 
wish  you  would  not  accept  it :  for  to  reject  the 
excuses  of  a  friend,  upon  such  an  occasion,  be 

K  4  they 

HO  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  IX, 

they  ever  so  just,  is  an  evident  proof  of  a  warm 
affection.  Farewel. 



JVlANKiND  differ  in  their  notions  of  supreme 
happiness ;  but  in  my  opinion  he  truly  possesses 
it,  who  lives  in  the  conscious  anticipation  of 
honest  fame,  and  the  glorious  figure  he  shall  make 
in  the  eyes  of  posterity.  I  confess,  if  I  had  not 
the  reward  of  an  immortal  reputation  in  view,  I 
should  prefer  a  life  of  uninterrupted  ease  and  in- 
dolent retirement  to  any  other.  There  seem  to 
be  but  two  points  worthy  our  attention  ;  endless 
fame,  or  the  short  duration  of  human  life.  Those 
who  are  actuated  by  the  former  motive,  must 
labour  to  attain  it  with  the  utmost  exertion  of 
their  powers ;  while  such  as  are  influenced  by 
the  latter,  should  quietly  resign  themselves  to  re- 
pose, nor  wear  out  a  short  life,  as  many  we  see 
do,  in  a  painful  course  of  ill-directed  pursuits, 
and  then  sink  at  last  into  a  total  dissatisfaction 
both  of  themselves  and  of  the  world.  These  are 
my  daily  reflections,  and  I  communicate  them  to 
you,  in  order  to  renounce  them,  if  you  should  not 
join  with  me  in  the  same  sentiments ;  as  un- 
doubtedly you  will,  who  are  ever  meditating 
some  worthy  deed  to  render  your  name  immortal. 



IX.  OF  PLINY.  141 



I  SHOULD  fear  you  would  think  the  oration., 
which  you  receive  with  this  letter,  immoderately 
long,  if  it  were  not  of  such  a  nature  as  to  require 
being  divided  into  several  sections  ;  which  con- 
sisting of  distinct  charges,  have  the  appearance 
of  so  many  separate  speeches.  Wherever,  there- 
fore, you  begin  or  end,  you  may  consider  what 
follows,  either  as  connected  with  what  precedes, 
or  making  of  itself  a  new  subject ;  so  that  you 
may  look  upon  it  as  very  diffuse  upon  the  whole, 
and  yet  as  extremely  concise  with  respect  to  its 
particular  parts.  Farewel. 

To  TIRO. 

You  are  greatly  'to  be  applauded  for  the  just 
manner  with  which,  as  I  am  informed  (and  I 
make  very  strict  enquiry)  you  administer  the 
government  of  your  province ;  one  principal 
branch  of  which  is  to  distinguish  merit  in  every 
degree,  and  so  to  gain  the  love  of  the  lower  rank, 
as  to  preserve,  at  the  same  time,  the  affection  of 
their  superiors.  But  it  is  an  error  many  have 


142  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  IX. 

fallen  into,  that  while  they  endeavour  to  avoid  the 
appearance  of  favouring  the  great,  they  run  into 
the  contrary  extreme,  and  incur  the  imputation 
of  acting  with  ill  manners  or  ill  nature  :  an  error 
which  you  are  far  from  committing,  I  well  know. 
However,  I  cannot  forbear  adding  a  caution  to  my 
praise,  and  recommending  it  to  you,  to  conduct 
yourself  in  such  a  manner,  as  to  preserve  the  pro- 
per distinction  of  rank  and  dignity.  For  to  level 
and  confound  the  different  orders  of  society,  is 
far  from  producing  an  equality  among  mankind  ; 
it  is,  in  fact,  the  most  unequal  thing  imaginable. 



L  H  A  v  E  spent  these  several  last  days  in  my  study* 
with  the  most  pleasing  tranquillity.  You  will 
ask  how  that  can  be  possible  in  the  midst  of 
Rome  ?  It  happened  to  be  the  season  of  cele- 
brating the  Circensian  games  ;a  an  entertainment 
for  which  I  have  not  the  least  taste.  They  have 
no  novelty,  no  variety  to  recommend  them ;  no- 
thing, in  short,  one  would  wish  to  be  present  at 


a  These  games  were  originally  of  Grecian  extraction,  but 
first  introduced  among  the  Romans  by  Romulus,  in  order  to 
favour  his  design  of  carrying  oft'  the  Sabine  virgins  :  they  con- 
sisted of  horse  and  chariot  races,  &c. 

Bo  OK  IX.  OF  PLINY. 

twice.  It  is  the  more  surprising,  therefore,  that, 
so  many  thousand  people  should  be  possessed  with 
the  childish  passion  of  desiring  often  to  see  a  par- 
cel of  horses  gallop,  and  men  standing  erect  in 
their  chariots.  If,  indeed,  it  were  the  swiftness 
of  the  horses,  or  the  skill  of  the  charioteers,  that 
attracted  them,  there  might  be  some  little  pretence 
of  reason  on  their  side.  But  it  is  the  dress  they 
favour  ;b  it  is  the  dress  that  captivates  them. — 
And  if,  in  the  midst  of  the  course,  the  different 
contenders  were  to  change  habits,  their  different 
partizans  would  change  sides,  and  instantly  de- 
sert the  very  same  men  and  horses  whom  they  just 
before  were  eagerly  following,  with  their  eyes,  as 
far  as  they  could  see,  and  shouting  their  names 
with  all  the  warmth  of  vociferous  exclamation. 
Such  mighty  charms,  such  wonderous  power  is 
there  in  the  colour  of  a  paltry  tunic  !  and  this  in 
the  sentiments,  not  only  of  the  vulgar,  (more 
contemptible  than  the  uniform  they  espouse)  but 
even  in  the  opinion  of  some  grave  personages. — 
When  I  observe  such  men  thus  insatiably  fond  of 
so  silly,  so  low,  so  uninteresting,  so  common  an 


b  The  performers  at  these  games  were  divided  tnto  compa- 
nies, distinguished  by  the  particular  colour  of  their  habits  ;  the 
principal  of  which  \vere  the  white,  the  red,  the  blue,  and  the 
green.  Accordingly  the  spectators  favoured  one  or  the  other 
colour,  as  humour  and  caprice  inclined  them.  In  the  reign  of 
Justinian,  a  tumult*  arose  in  Constantinople,  occasioned  merely 
by  a  contention  among  the  partizans  of  these  several  colours, 
wherein  no  less  than  thirty  thousand  men  lost  their  lives. 
•  Procop.  deBill.  Pers>.  !.  !. 


entertainment,  I  congratulate  myself  that  I  am 
insensible  to  these  pleasures  ;  and  am  glad  to  em- 
ploy the  leisure  of  this  season  upon  my  studies, 
which  others  throw  away  upon  the  most  idle  oc- 
cupations. Farewel. 


1  A  M  glad  to  find,  by  your  letter,  that  you  are 
engaged  in  building  ;  for  I  may  now  defend  my 
own  conduct  by  your  example.  I  am  myself  oc- 
cupied in  the  same  sort  of  work ;  and  since  I 
have  you  on  my  side,  who  shall  deny  I  have  rea- 
son too  ?  We  are  pretty  much  agreed,  likewise,  I 
find,  in  our  situations  ;  and  as  your  buildings  are 
carrying  on  upon  the  sea-coast,  mine  are  rising 
upon  the  side  of  the  Larian  lake.  I  have  several 
villas  upon  the  borders  of  this  lake,  but  there  are 
two  particularly,  in  which  as  I  take  most  delight, 
so  they  give  me  most  employment.  They  are 
both  situated  like  those  at  Baiae  :a  one  of  them 


*  Now  caHed  Castello  di  Baia,  in  Terra  di  Lavoro.  It  was 
the  place  the  Romans  chose  for  winter  retreat,  and  which 
they  frequented  upon  account  of  its  warm  baths.  Some  few 
ruins  of  the  beautiful  villas  that  once  covered  this  delightful 
coast,  still  remain ;  and  nothing  can  give  one  a  higher  idea  of 
the  prodigious  expence  and  magnificence  of  the  Romans,  in 
their  private  buildings,  than  the  manner  in  which  some  of  these 
were  situated.  It  appears,  from  this  letter,  as  well  as  from  s«- 
veral  other  passages  in  the  classic  writers,  that  they  actually 

BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  145 

stands  upon  a  rock,  and  has  a  prospect  of  the 
lake ;  the  other  actually  touches  it.  The  first, 


projected  into  the  sea,  being  erected  upon  vast  piles  sunk  for 
that  purpose.  Virgil  draws  a  beautiful  simile  from  this  custom, 
where  he  compares  the  massy  spear  which  Turnus  hurled  at 
Bitias,  to  one  of  those  enormous  piles  thrown  into  the  Baian 

Quails  in  Euboico  Baiarum  littore  quondam 
Saxea  pila  cadit,  magnis  quam  molibus  ante 
Const ructumjaciunt  ponto  ;  sic  ilia  ruinam 
Prone  trahit  penitusque  vadis  illisa  recumbit  : 
Miscent  se  rnuria,  #  nigrce  attolluntur  arence. 

JEn.  ix,  710. 

So  from  the  Baian  mole,  whose  structures  rise 
High  o'er  the  slood,  a  massy  fragment  flies  ; 
The  rapid  rolling  pile  all  headlong  sweeps 
With  one  vast  length  of  ruin  to  the  deeps; 
Thick  boil  the  billows,  and  on  every  side 
\York  the  dark  sands,  and  blacken  all  the  tide. 


Horace,  also,  in  one  of  his  moral  odes,  points  out  and  exposes 
this  amazing  luxury  of  building: 

Tu  secanda  marmora 

Locas  sub  ipsumfunus  ;  fy  sepulcri 
Immemor,  struts  demos ; 

Marisque  Baits  obstrepentis  urges 
Summovere  littora, 

Purum  locuples  continente  ripa. 

Od.  18.  1.  », 

— You,  with  thoughtless  pride  elate, 
Unconscious  of  impending  fate, 
Command  the  pillar'd  dome  to  rise, 
When  lo  !  thy  tomb  forgotten  lies  ; 
And  though  the  waves  indignant  roar, 
Forward  you  urge  the  Baian  shore, 
While  earth's  too  narrow  bounds  in  vain 
Thy  guilty  progress  would  restrain. 


And  here,  indeed,  luxury  seems  to  have  reigned  in  her  most 
licentious  refinements  of  all  kinds  ;  while  the  principal  amuse- 
ment of  the  place  consisted  in  sailing  upon  the  gulph  in  gaily 


THE  LETTERS          BOOK  IX. 

supported  as  it  were  by  the  lofty  buskin,13  I  call 
my  tragic ;   the  other,  as  resting  upon  the  hum- 
ble sock,  my  comic  villa.     They  have  each  their 
particular  beauties,  which  recommend  themselves 
to  me  so  much  the  more,  as  they  are  of  different 
kinds.     The  former  commands  a  wider  prospect 
of  the  lake  ;  the  latter  enjoys  a  nearer  view  of  it. 
This,  by  an  easy  bend,  embraces  a  little  bay ;  the 
promontory  upon  which  the  other  stands,   forms 
two.     Here  you  have  a  straight  walk,  extending 
itself  along  the  banks  of  the  lake;  there  a  spa- 
cious terrace  that  falls  by  a  gentle  descent  to- 
wards it.     The  former  does  not  feel  the  force  of 
the  \vaves  ;  the  latter  breaks  them ;    from   that 
you  see  the  fishing  vessels  below :  from  this  you 
may   fish  yourself,   and  throw  your  line   from 
your  chamber,   and  almost  from  your  bed,    as 
from  a  boat.     It  is  the  beauties,  therefore,  Hhese 
agreeable  villas  possess,  that  tempt  me  to  add  to 

them  those  which  are  wanting, But  I  need 


painted  barks,  accompanied  with  all  the  melting  softness  that 
exquisite  wines,  fine  women,  and  rapturous  music  could  in- 
ypire.  There  was  something  even  in  the  natural,  as  well  asar,- 
tificial  turn  of  the  scene,  which  seemed  formed  to  dissolve  the 
;uiii(i  into  a  state  of  softness  and  dissipation  :  insomuch,  that 
Seneca,  with  all  his  stoical  fortitude,  durst  not  trust  himself 
in  it  above  a  day.  See  Seneca,  ep.  51. 

b  The  buskin  was  a  kind  of  high  shoe  worn  upon  the  stage 
by  the  actors  of  tragedy,  in  order  to  give  them  a  more  heroical 
elevation  of  stature  ;  as  the  sock  was  something  between  a, 
s»hoe  and  slipper,  and  appropriated  to  the  comic  players. 


BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  147 

not  assign  a  reason  to  you  ;  who,  undoubtedly, 
will  think  it  a  sufficient  one  that  I  follow  your 
example.  Farewel. 



WERE  I  to  bestow  praise  on  you,  from  whom 
I  have  received  so  much,  I  am  afraid  it  would 
seem  to  proceed,  not  so  much  from  my  judg- 
ment, as  my  gratitude.  Nevertheless  I  will  not 
scruple  to  say,  that  I  think  all  your  productions 
are  beautiful ;  especially,  you  may  be  sure,  those 
of  which  I  am  the  subject.  And  the  same  rea- 
son will  account  both  for  their  deserving  that 
character,  and  for  my  thinking  so :  for,  as  on 
the  one  hand  you  ever  succeed  best  when  friend- 
ship inspires  you ;  so,  on  the  other,  I  always  like 

most  what  flatters  my  vanity.     Farewel. 



r   To  COLO. 

1  GREATLY  admire  the  generous  grief  you  ex- 
press for  the  death  of  Pompeius  Quinctianus,  as 
it  is  a  proof  that  your  affection  for  your  depart- 
ed friend  does  not  terminate  with  his  life.  Far 
different  from  those  who  love,  or  rather,  I  should 


148  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  IX. 

more  properly  say,  who  counterfeit  love  to  none 
but  the  living.     Nor  indeed  even  that  any  lon- 
ger than  they  are  the  favourites  of  fortune ;  for 
the  unhappy  are  no  more  the  object  of  their  re- 
membrance,   than  the  dead.     But  your  friend- 
ship is  raised  upon  a  more  lasting  foundation, 
and  the  constancy  of  your  affection  can  only  end 
with   your    life.       Quinctianus,   most  certainly, 
well  deserved  to  meet  with  that  generous  warmth 
from  his  friends;  of  which  he   was  himself  so 
bright  an  example.     He  loved  them  in  prosperi- 
ty ;  protected  them  in  adversity ;  lamented  them 
in  death.     How  open  was  his  countenance  !  how 
modest  his   conversation  !    how  equally  did  he 
temper  gravity  with  gaiety  !  how  fond  was  he  of 
learning  \  how  judicious   his    sentiments  !   how 
dutiful  to  a  father  of  a  very  different  character  ! 
and  how  happily  did  he  reconcile  filial  piety  to 
inflexible  virtue,  continuing  a  good  son,  without 
forfeiting  the  title  of  a  good  man  \ — But  why  do 
I  aggravate  your  affliction  by  reminding  you  of* 
his  merit  ? — yet  I  know  your  affection  for  the 
memory  of  this  excellent  youth  is  so  strong,  that 
you  had  rather  endure  that  pain,  than  suffer  his 
virtues  to   be  passed  over  in  silence ;  especially 
by  me,  whose  applause,  you  imagine,  will  adorn 
his  actions,  extend  his  fame,  and  restore  him,  as 
it  were,  to  that  life  from  which  he  is  prematurely 
snatched.     Farewel, 




I  SHOULD  be  glad  to  follow  your  precepts;  but 
there  is  such  a  scarcity  of  boars,  that  it  is  impos- 
sible to  pay,  at  the  same  time,  equal  houiage  to 
Minerva  and  Diana,  who,  you  think,  ought  to  be 
jointly  worshipped.  I  must  content  myself,  there- 
fore, with  offering  my  single  devotion  to  the  for- 
mer ;  and  even  that,  with  some  restriction,  con- 
sidering the  heats  of  the  season,  and  the  privi- 
leged indolence  of  retirement.  I  composed,  in- 
deed, a  few  trifles  in  my  journey  hither,  which  are 
only  worthy  of  being  destroyed,  as  they  are 
written  with  the  same  careless  unstudied  manner 
that  one  usually  chats  upon  the  road.  Since  I 
came  to  my  villa,  I  have  made  some  few  additions 
to  them,  not  finding  myself  in  a  humour  to  turn 


a  The  learned  Catanaeus,  with  some  other  commentators, 
imagines  this  letter  does  not  belong  to  Pliny,  but  is  the  answer 
of  Tacitus  to  the  6th  epistle  of  the  first  book.  He  supports  this 
conjecture,  indeed,  by  no  authority  ;  only  thinks  it  falls  in  ex- 
actly with  the  letter  to  which  he  supposes  it  an  answer,  and 
fancies  he  discovers  something  in  the  style  different  from  our 
author's  manner.  But,  upon  a  comparison  of  the  two  letters, 
there  seems  little  reason  to  believe  one  is  an  answer  to  the  other. 
And,  as  to  any  difference  of  style  (if  there  really  be  any,  which 
the  translator  confesses  he  has  not  penetration  enough  to  disco- 
ver,) it  is  much  too  precarious  an  argument  to  have  any  weight 
in  the  case.  The  supposition  of  Casaubon  seems  more  probable, 
who  thinks  this  epistle  might  be  occasioned  by  one  from  Tacitus, 
wherein  he  reminded  Pliny  of  his  own  advice  lo  him,  in  thai 
letter  to  which  CatantBtti  imagines  this  to  be  an  aiitwer. 

VOL.  II.  L 


my  thoughts  to  things  of  more  consequence. 
Thus  my  poems,  which  you  suppose  I  am  finish- 
ing with  so  much  advantage  amidst  the  silence  and 
solemnity  of  woods  and  groves,  are,  in  truth, 
wholly  at  a  stand.  But  I  have  revised  an  oration 
or  two ;  though  that  kind  of  business  is  so  un- 
pleasant, as  rather  to  resemble  rustic  labours,  than 
rural  amusements.  Farewel. 


YOUR  letter  was  particularly  acceptable  to  me, 
as  it  mentioned  your  desire  that  I  would  send 
you  something  of  mine  addressed  to  you,  to  in- 
sert in  your  works.  I  shall  find  an  occasion  of 
complying  with  your  request  more  proper  than 
that  which  you  propose  ;  the  subject  you  point 
out  to  me  being  attended  with  some  objections ; 
and  when  you  consider  it  again,  you  will  think 
so. — As  I  did  not  imagine  there  were  any  book- 
sellers at  Lugdunum3,  I  am  so  much  the  more 
pleased  to  learn  that  my  works  are  sold  there.  I 
rejoice  to  find  they  maintain  the  same  cha- 
racter abroad,  which  they  raised  at  home ;  and  I 
begin  to  flatter  myself  they  have  some  merit,  since 
persons  of  such  distant  countries  are  agreed  in 
their  opinion  concerning  them.  Farewel. 


J  Lyons,  in  the  Lyonois,  a  province  of  France. 

BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  151 


A  CERTAIN  friend  of  mine  lately  chastised  his 
son,  in  my  presence,  ^orbeing  somewhat  too  ex- 
pensive in  the  article  of  dogs  and  horses.  "  And 
"  pray,"  I  asked  him,  when  the  youth  was  with- 
drawn, "  did  you  never  commit  a  fault  yourself 
"  which  deserved  your  father's  correction  ?  Are 
"  you  not  sometimes,  even  now,  guilty  of  errors, 
"  which  your  son,  were  he  in  your  place,  might 
"  with  equal  gravity  reprove?  Are  not  all  man- 
"  kind  subject  to  indiscretions  ?  And  have  we 
"  not  each  of  us  our  particular  follies  in  which  we 
"  fondly  indulge  ourselves  ?" 

The  great  affection  I  have  for  you,  induced  me 
to  set  this  instance  of  unreasonable  severity  before 
you,  as  a  caution  not  to  treat  your  son  with  too 
much  rigour  and  austerity.  Consider,  he  is  but  a 
boy,  and  that  there  was  a  time  when  you  were  of 
the  same  age.  In  exerting,  therefore,  the  autho- 
rity of  a  father,  remember  always  that  you  are  a 
man,  and  the  parent  of  a  man.  Farewel. 


152  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  IX 



1  ii  E  pleasure  and  attention  with  which  you  pe- 
rused the  vindication  I  published  of  Helvidius*, 
has  greatly  raised  your  curiosity,  it  seems,  to  he 
informed  of  those  particulars  relating-  to  that  af- 
fair, which  are  not  mentioned  in  the  defence  ;  as 
you  were  too  young  to  be  present  yourself  at  that 
transaction.  When  Domitian  was  assassinated, 
a  glorious  opportunity,  I  thought,  offered  itself, 
of  pursuing  the  guilty,  vindicating  the  injured, 
and  advancing  my  own  reputation.  But  amidst 
an  infinite  variety  of  the  blackest  crimes,  none 
appeared  to  me  more  atrocious,  than  that  a  se- 
nator, of  prcetorian  dignity,  and  invested  with 
the  sacred  character  of  a  judge,  should,  even  in 
the  very  senate  itself,  lay  violent  hands  upon  a 
memberb  of  that  august  assembly ;  upon  one, 
who  formerly  had  the  honour  of  being  consul, 
and  who  then  stood  arraigned  before  him.  Be- 
sides this  general  consideration,  I  had,  like- 
wise, a  particular  intimacy  with  Helvidius,  as 
far  as  it  was  possible  to  hold  with  one,  who 


*  He  was  accused  of  treason,  under  pretence  that,  in  a  dra- 
matic piece  which  he  composed,  he  had,  in  the  characters  of 
Paris  and  Oenone,  reflected  upon  Domitian  for  divorcing  his 
wife  Domitia.  Suet,  in  vit.  Domit,  c.  10. 

b  Helvidius. 

BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  153 

fearing  the  tyranny  of  the  times,  endeavoured  to 
veil  the  lustre  of  his  fame,  and  his  virtues,  in  oh- 
scurity  and  retirement.  Arria  likewise,  and  her 
daughter  Fannia,  who  was  mother-in-law  to  Hel- 
vidius,  were  in  the  number  of  my  friends.  But 
it  was  not  so  much  private  attachments,  as  the 
honour  of  the  public,  a  just  indignation  at  the 
action,  and  the  danger  of  the  example,  if  it  should 
pass  unpunished,  that  animated  me  upon  this  oc- 
casion. At  the  first  restoration  of  liberty/  every 
man  singled  out  his  particular  enemy,  (though  it 
must  be  confessed,  those  only  of  a  lower  rank) 
and  in  the  midst  of  much  clamour  and  confusion, 
no  sooner  brought  the  charge,  than  procured  the 
condemnation.  But  for  myself,  I  thought  it  would 
have  more  the  appearance  of  moderation,  as  well 
as  spirit,  not  to  take  advantage  of  the  general 
resentment  of  the  public,  but  to  crush  this  cri- 
minal with  the  single  weight  of  his  own  enormous 
guilt.  When,  therefore,  the  first  heat  of  public 
indignation  began  to  cool,  and  declining  passion 
gave  way  to  justice,  though  I  was  at  that  time 
under  great  affliction  for  the  loss  of  my  wife/  I 
sent  to  Anteia,  the  widow  of  Helvidius,  and  de- 

c  Upon  the  accession  of  Nerva  to  the  empire,  after  the 
death  of  Dumitian. 

d  Our  author's  first  wife ;  of  whom  we  have  no  particular 
account.  After  her  death  he  married  his  favourite  Calphurnia, 



sired  her  to  come  to  me,  as  my  late  misfortune 
prevented  me  from  appearing  in  public.  When  she 
arrived,  I  acquainted  her  with  my  intention  not 
to  suffer  the  injuries  her  husband  had  received, 
to  pass  unrevenged ;  and  desired  her  to  consult 
with  Arria  and  Fannia  (who  were  just  returned 
from  exile)  whether  she  and  they  would  join  with 
me  in  the  prosecution.  Not  that  I  wanted,  I  said, 
an  associate,  but  that  I  was  not  so  jealous  of  my 
own  glory,  as  to  refuse  to  share  it  with  them  in  this 
affair.  She  accordingly  communicated  this  mes- 
sage to  them,  and  they  all  agreed  to  the  proposal 
without  the  least  hesitation.  It  happened  very  op- 
portunely, that  the  senate  was  to  meet  within  three 
days.  It  was  a  general  rule  with  me  to  consult,  in 
all  my  affairs,  with  Corellius,  a  person  of  the  great- 
est prudence  and  wisdom  this  age  has  produced. 
However,  in  the  present  case,  I  relied  entirely 
upon  my  own  discretion,  being  apprehensive  he 
would  not  approve  of  my  design,  as  he  was  of  a 
very  indecisive  and  cautious  temper.  But  al- 
though I  did  not  previously  deliberate  with  him, 
(experience  having  taught  me  never  to  advise 
with  a  person  concerning  a  question  we  have  al- 
ready determined,  where  he  has  a  right  to  expect 
that  one  shall  be  decided  by  his  judgment)  yet  I 
could  not  forbear  acquainting  him  with  my  reso- 
lution, at  the  time  I  proposed  to  carry  it  into  exe- 
cution. The  senate  being  assembled,  I  came  into 


BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  155 

the  house,  and  begged  I  might  have  leave  to  make 
a  motion,  which  I  accordingly  did  in  few  words, 
and  with  general  assent.  When  I  began  to  touch 
upon  the  charge,  and  point  out  the  person  I  in- 
tended to  accuse  (though  as  yet  without  men- 
tioning him  by  name)  I  was  attacked  on  all  sides. 
"  Let  us  know,"  says  one,  "  who  is  the  object 
((  of  this  extraordinary  motion  ?"  "  Who  is  it," 
asked  another,  u  that  is  thus  accused,  without 
"  acquainting  the  house  with  his  name  and  his 
"  crime?"  "  Surely,"  added  a  third,  "  we  who 
"  have  escaped  the  late  dangerous  times,  may 
"  expect  now,  at  least,  to  remain  in  security."  I 
heard  all  this  with  great  calmness,  and  without 
being  in  the  least  alarmed  ;  such  is  the  effect  of 
conscious  integrity  :  and  so  much  difference  is 

Cj  V  ' 

there  with  respect  to  inspiring  confidence  or 
fear,  whether  the  world  had  only  rather  one 
should  forbear  a  certain  act,  or  absolutely  con- 
demns it.  It  would  be  too  tedious  to  relate  all 
that  was  advanced  by  different  parties  upon  this 
occasion.  At  length  the  consul  acquainted  me, 
that  I  was  at  liberty  to  propose  what  I  thought 
proper,  when  my  turn  should  come  to  give  my 
opinion  upon  the  order  of  the  day/  I  thanked 


c  It  is  very  remarkable,  that  when  any  senator  was  asked 
his  opinion  in  the  house,  concerning  the  business  in  agitation, 

L  4 

156  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  IX. 

him  for  allowing  me  a  liberty,  which  he  never  yet, 
I  said,  refused  to  any  ;  and  so  sat  down  :  when 
immediately  the  house  went  upon  other  business. 
In  the  mean  while,  one  of  my  consular  friends 
took  me  aside,  and,  with  great  earnestness,  telling 
me,  he  thought  I  had  proceeded  in  this  matter 
with  more  courage  than  prudence,  used  every  me- 
thod of  reproof  and  persuasion,  to  prevail  with 
me  to  desist ;  adding,  at  the  same  time,  that  I 
should  certainly,  if  I  persevered,  render  myself 
obnoxious  to  some  future  prince.  "  And  so  be 
**  it,"  I  returned,  "  should  he  prove  a  bad  one." 
He  had  scarce  left  me,  when  a  second  came  up  ; 
"  For  God's  sake,"  said  he,  "what  are  you  attempt- 
ing? Why  will  you  ruin  yourself?  Do  you 
"  consider  to  what  hazards  you  are  exposed  ? 
"  Why  will  you  presume  too  much  on  the  pre- 
"  sent  situation  of  public  affairs,  when  it  is  soun- 
"  certain  what  turn  they  may  hereafter  take?  You 
"  are  attacking  a  man  who  is  actually  at  the  head 
"  of  the  treasury,  and  will  shortly  be  consul.  B&- 
"  sides,  do  you  consider  what  credit  he  has,  and 
"  with  what  powerful  friendships  he  is  support- 
"  eel  ?"  Upon  which  he  named  a  certain  per- 
son, (who  not  without  several  unfavourable  ru- 

he.  had  the  privilege  of  speaking  as  long  as  he  pleased  upon  any 
other  affair,  before  he  delivered  his  setiments  on  the  point  in 
question.  Aul.  Cell.  lib.  4.  c.  10. 

BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  157 

mours)a  was  then  at  the  head  of  a  powerful  army 
in  the  east.     I  replied, 

"  All  rve  foreseen^  and  oft  in  thought  revolved? 

"  and  am  willing,  if  fate  shall  so  decree,  to  suffer 
"  by  acting  an  honourable  part,  provided  I  can 
*'  draw  vengeance  down  upon  a  most  infamous 
"  one."  The  time  for  the  members  to  give  their 
respective  opinions  was  now  arrived.  Domitius 
Apollinaris,  the  consul  elect,  spoke  first;  after 
him,  Fabricius  Vejento;  then  Fabius  Posthumius; 
Vectius  Proculus  next,  (who  married  my  wife's 
mother,  and  who  was  colleague  of  Publicius 
Certus,  the  person  on  whom  the  debate  turned,) 
and,  last  of  all,  Ammius  Flaccus.  They  all  de- 
fended Certus,  as  if  I  had  already  accused  him, 
(though  I  had  not  yet  so  much  as  once  mention- 
ed his  name)  and  entered  upon  his  justification, 
as  if  I  had  exhibited  a  specific  charge.  It  is  not 
necessary  to  repeat,  in  this  place,  what  they  re- 
spectively said,  having  related  it  in  their  own 
words,  in  the  speech  abovementioned.  Avidius 
Quietus  and  Cornutus  Tertullius  answered  them. 
The  former  observed,  "  that  it  was  extremely 
"  unjust  not  to  hear  the  complaints  of  those  who 
"  thought  themselves  injured ;  and,  therefore, 

"  that 

8  Probably  concerning  his  intentions  to  employ  his  credit 
with  the  army,  to  be  proclaimed  emperor  either  immediately  or 
on  the  death  of  Nerva. 

b  jEneid.  lib.  6.  v.  105. 


"  that  Arria  and  Fannia  ought  not  to  be  denied 
<{  the  privilege  of  laying  their  grievances  before 
"  the  house  ;  and  that  the  point  for  the  consider- 
"  ation  of  the  senate  was  not  th,e  rank  of  the 
*'  person,  but  the  merit  of  the  cause."  Then 
Cornutus  rose  up,  and  acquainted  the .  house, 
"  That,  as  he  was  appointed  guardian  to  the 
"  daughter  of  Helvidius,  by  the  consuls,  upon 
"  the  petition  of  her  mother  and  her  father-in- 
"  law,  he  thought  himself  obliged  to  fulfil  the 
"  duty  of  his  trust ;  in  the  execution  of  which, 
"  however,  he  would  endeavour  to  set  spme 
"  bounds  to  his  indignation,  by  following  that 
*'  great  example  of  moderation  which  those  ex-* 
"  cellent  women1  had  set,  who  contented  them- 
"  selves  with  barely  informing  the  senate  of  the 
"  cruelties  which  Certus  committed,  in  order  to 
"  carry  on  his  infamous  adulation;  and,  therefore, 
"  he  would  only  move,  that  if  a  punishment  due 
"  to  a  crime  so  notoriously  known,  should  be  re^ 
"  mitted,  that,  at  least,  Certus  might  be  branded 
"  with  some  mark  of  the  displeasure  of  that  au- 
"gust  assembly.7'  Satrius  Rufus  spoke  next, 
and,  meaning  to  steer  a  kind  of  middle  course, 
expressed  himself  with  much  ambiguity.  ;c  I  am 
"  of  opinion,"  said  he,  "  that  great  injustice  will 
"  be  done  to  Certus,  if  he  is  not  acquitted,  (for 
"  I  do  not  scruple  to  mention  his  name,  since  the 

"  friends 

'  Arria  and  Fanma, 


"  friends  of  Arria  and  Fannia,  as  well  as  his  own, 
"  have  done  so  too)  nor,  indeed,  have  we  any  oo 
"  casion  to  be  solicitous  upon  this  account.  We 
ft  who  think  well  of  the  man  shall  judge  him  with 
"  the  same  impartiality  as  the  rest ;  but  if  he  is 
"  innocent,  as  I  hope  he  is,  and  shall  be  glad  to 
"  find,  I  think  this  house  may  very  justly  deny 
"  the  present  motion,  till  some  charge  shall  be 
"  proved  against  him."  Thus,  according  to  the 
respective  order  in  which  they  were  called  upon*, 
they  delivered  their  several  opinions.  When  it 
came  to  niy  turn,  I  rose  up,  and  using  the  same 
introduction  to  my  speech  as  I  have  published  in 
the  defence,  I  replied  to  them  severally.  It  is 
surprising  with  what  an  universal  assent  I  was 
heard,  even  by  those  who,  just  before,  were  loud- 
est against  me :  such  a  wonderful  change  was 
wrought  either  by  the  importance  of  the  affair, 
the  eloquence  of  the  speech,  or  the  resolution  of 
the  advocate.  After  I  had  finished,  Vejento 
attempted  to  reply  ;  but  the  general  clamour  not 
permitting  him  to  proceed,  "  I  hope,  conscript 
"  fathers V  said  he,  "  you  will  not  oblige  me  to 

*'  implore 

*  In  the  early  times  of  the  republic,  the  consul  began  by  aslc- 
ing  the  opinion  of  the  prince  of  the  senate,  and  the  rest  went 
on  each  according  to  his  age.  Under  the  emperors,  their  will 
served  as  a  rule  ;  for,  as  the  prince  presided  in  the  senate,  he 
demanded  the  opinion  of  him  first,  whom  he  thought  fit  to  do 
that  honour  :  however,  he  more  usually  began  with  the  consuls, 

b  The  appillution  by  which  the  senate  was  addressed. 


160  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  IX. 

"  implore  the  assistance  of  the  tribunes11."  Im- 
mediately the  tribune  Murena  cried  out,  "  You 
"  have  my  leave,  most  illustrious  Vejento,  to  go 
"  on."  But  still  the  clamour  was  renewed.  In 
the  interval,  the  consul  ordered  the  house  to  di- 
vide, and,  having  counted  the  voices,  dismissed 
the  senate,  leaving  Vejento  in  the  midst,  still  at- 
tempting to  speak.  He  made  great  complaints 
of  this  aifront,  (as  he  called  it)  applying  the  fol- 
lowing lines  of  Homer  to  himself: 

*  Great  perils,  father,  wait  /A'  unequal  fight ; 
Those  younger  champions  will  thy  strength  overcome. 

There  was  scarce  a  man  in  the  senate  that  did  not 
embrace  and  kiss  me,  and  all  strove  who  should 
applaud  me  most,  for  having,  with  the  utmost 
hazard  to  myself,  revived  a  custom  so  long  dis- 
used, of  freely  consulting  the  senate  upon  affairs 
that  concern  the  honour  of  the  public  :  in  a  word, 
for  having  wiped  off  that  reproach  which  was 
thrown  upon  it  by  the  other  orders  in  the  state, 
"  that  the  senators  mutually  favoured  the  members 
"  oftheir  own  body,  while  they  were  very  severe  in 

11  animadverting 

h  The  tribunes  were  magistrates  chosen  at  first  out  of  the  body 
of  the  commons,  for  the  defence  of  their  liberties,  and  to  inter- 
pose in  all  grievances  offered  by  their  superiors.  Their  autho- 
rity extended  even  to  the  deliberations  of  the  senate. 

1  Diomed's  speech  to  Nestor,  advising  him  to  retire  from  the 
field  of  battle.  Iliad,  iii.  102.  Pope. 


BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  l6l 

"  animadverting  upon  the  rest  of  their  fellow- 
"  citizens."  All  this  was  transacted  in  the  ab- 
sence of  Certus,  who  kept  out  of  the  way,  ei- 
ther because  he  suspected  something  of  this  na- 
ture was  intended  to  be  moved,  or  (as  was  said 
in  his  excuse)  that  he  was  really  indisposed. 
Caesar,  however,  did  not  refer  the  examination 
of  this  matter  to  the  senate.  But  I  succeeded, 
nevertheless,  in  my  aim,  another  person  being 
appointed  instead  of  Certus  to  the  consulship, 
while  the  election  of  his  colleague  to  that  office 
was  confirmed.  And  thus,  the  wish  with  which 
I  concluded  my  speech,  was  actually  realized  : 
"  May  he  be  obliged,"  said  I,  "  to  renounce  un- 
"  der  a  virtuous  princek,  that  reward  he  received 
"  from  an  infamous  one1 !"  Some  time  after,  I 
recollected,  as  well  as  I  could,  the  speech  I 
delivered  upon  this  occasion ;  to  which  I  made 
some  additions.  It  happened  (though,  indeed,  it 
had  the  appearance  of  being  somewhat  more  than 
casual)  that  a  few  clays  after  I  had  published 
this  piece,  Certus  was  taken  ill  and  died.  I 
was  told  that  his  imagination  continually  repre- 
sented me  as  a  man  that  was  pursuing  him  with 
a  dagger.  Whether  there  was  any  truth  in  this 
rumour,  I  will  not  venture  to  assert;  but,  for  the 
sake  of  example,  however,  I  wish  it  might  gain 


k  Nerva. 

1  Domitian  ;  by  whom  he  had  been  appointed  consul  elect, 
though  he  had  not  yet  entered  upon  lhat  office. 

16*2  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  IX. 

credit.  And  now  I  have  sent  you  a  letter,  which 
if  you  should  think  is  as  long  as  the  defence  you, 
say  you  have  read,  you  must  impute  it  to  your- 
self, for  not  being  contented  with  such  informa- 
tion as  that  piece  could  afford  you.  Farewel. 


THOUGH  you  are  by  no  means  inclined  to  self- 
admiration,  yet,  be  assured,  none  of  my  writings 
are  more  sincerely  the  undissembled  dictates  of 
my  real  thoughts,  than  those  of  which  you  are  the 
subject.  Whether,  indeed,  posterity  will  concern 
herself  with  either  of  us,  I  know  not ;  but  surely 
we  deserve  some  small  regard  at  least,  I  will  not 
say  upon  account  of  our  geniuses  (that  would  be 
too  vain  a  presumption)  but  from  our  industry, 
our  labours,  and  that  high  reverence  we  feel 
for  her.  Proceed  we  then,  my  friend,  in  the 
course  we  have  entered,  which,  as  it  has  con- 
ducted some  to  the  brightest  eminences  of  fame, 
so  it  has  drawn  forth  many  from  silent  obscurity 
into  public  notice  and  reputation.  Farewel. 

BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  163 


I  RETIRED  to  my  villa  at  Tuscum,  with  the 
hopes  of  passing  my  time  here,  at  least,  in  my 
own  way  :  but  that  is  a  privilege,  I  find,  I  am  not 
to  enjoy  even  here  ;  so  greatly  am  I  interrupted 
with  the  importunate  complaints  and  petitions  of 
my  tenants.  I  look  over  their  accounts  with 
more  reluctance  than  I  examine  my  own ;  for,  to 
confess  the  truth,  it  is  with  great  unwillingness  I 
review  even  these.  I  am  revising,  however,  some 
little  orations ;  an  employment  which,  after  a 
length  of  time  has  intervened,  is  but  of  a  very 
cold  and  unentertaining  kind.  In  the  mean 
while,  my  domestic  affairs  are  neglected  as  much 
as  if  I  were  absent.  Yet  I  sometimes  so  far  act 
the  part  of  a  careful  master  of  a  family,  as  to 
mount  my  horse  and  ride  about  my  farms,  instead 
of  taking  my  exercise  in  the  gestatio*  As  for 
you,  I  hope  you  will  keep  up  your  good  old  custom, 
and  in  return  for  this  account  of  my  rural  occu- 
pations, let  us  country  folk  know  what  is  going 

forward  in  town.     Farewel. 


*  See  letter  iii.  book  i.  note  c. 

164  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  IX. 



IT  is  no  wonder  the  chace  you  mention  afforded 
you  infinite  pleasure,  since  "  the  number  of  the 
<f  slain  (to  use  your  own  historical  expression) 
"  was  not  to  be  counted1."  As  for  myself,  I 
have  neither  leisure  nor  inclination  for  sports  of 
that  kind ;  not  leisure,  because  I  am  in  the  midst 
of  my  vintage ;  nor  inclination,  because  it  has 
proved  an  extreme  bad  one  this  season.  Howe- 
ver, I  shall  be  able,  I  hope,  to  draw  off  some  new 
verses,  at  least,  if  not  new  wine,  for  your  enter- 
tainment, which,  since  you  request  them  in  so 
agreeable  a  manner,  I  will  not  fail  to  send  you, 
as  soon  as  they  shall  be  thoroughly  settled. — 


1  HAVE  received  your  letter,  in  which  you  com- 
plain of  being  highly  disgusted,  lately,  at  a  very 
splendid  entertainment,  by  a  set  of  buffoons, 
mummers,  and  wanton  prostitutes,  who  were 
playing  their  antic  tricksb  round  the  tables. — 


*  An  expression  frequent  among  the  historians  in  their  de- 
scription of  battles. 

b  These  persons  were  introduced  at  most  of  the  tables  of 
the  great,  for  the  purposes  of  mirth  and  gaiety,  and  consti- 

BOOK  IX.  of  PLINY.  165 

But  let  me  advise  you  to  smooth  your  brow  a 
little.  It  is  true,  I  admit  nothing  of  this  kind  at 
my  own  house ;  I  endure  them,  however,  without 
shewing  any  dislike,  when  I  meet  with  them  in 
other  people's.  "  And  why  then,"  you  will  be 


tuted  an  essential  part  in  all  polite  entertainments  among  the 
Romans.  It  is  surprising  how  soon  this  great  people  deviated 
from  their  original  severity  of  manners,  and  were  tainted  with 
the  contagion  of  foreign  luxury.  Livy  dates  the  rise  of  this, 
and  other  unmanly  delicacies,  from  the  conquest  of  Scipio  Asia- 
ticus  over  Antiochus  ;  that  is,  when  the  republic  had  scarcely 
subsisted  above  a  hundred  and  fourscore  years.  Luxuries  pe- 
regrinK  origo,  he  observes,  exercitu  Asiatico  171  urbem  iutecta  est* 
This  triumphant  army  caught,  it  seems,  the  contaminating  di- 
versions of  the  people  it  subdued  ;  and,  at  its  return  to  Rome, 
scattered  infection  among  their  countrymen,  which  spread,  by 
slow  degrees,  till  it  effected  their  total  destruction.  Thus  did 
eastern  luxury  revenge  itself  on  Roman  arms!  It  may  be  won- 
dered, that  Pliny  should  keep  his  own  temper,  and  check  the 
indignation  of  his  friends,  at  a  scene  which  was  fit  only  for  the 
dissolute  revels  of  the  infamous  Trimalchio.  But  it  will  not, 
perhaps,  be  doing  justice  to  our  author,  to  take  an  estimate  o*f 
his  real  sentiments  upon  this  point,  from  the  letter  before  us. — 
Genitor,  it  seems,  was  a  man  of  strict,  but  rather  of  too  austere 
morals  for  the  free  turn  of  the  age  :  emendatns  fy  gratis  :  pauto 
etiam  horridior  $  durior  ut  in  hac  liceritia  temporum.  [Ep.  3. 1.  3.] 
But  as  there  is  a  certain  seasonable  accommodation  to  the  man- 
ners of  the  times,  not  only  extremely  consistent  wish,  but  highly 
conductive  to  the  interests  of  virtue,  Pliny,  probably,  may  affect 
a  greater  latitude  than  he  in  general  approved,  in  order  to  draw 
off  his  friend  from  that  stiffness  and  unyielding  disposition,  which 
might  prejudice  those  of  a  gayer  turn  against  him,  and  conse- 
quently lessen  the  beneficial  influence  of  his  virtues  upon  the 
world.  A  late  most  ingenious  author,  who  has  greatly  distin- 
guished himself  in  several  branches  of  useful  and  polite  litera- 
ture, has  given  us  a  representation  of  one  of  these  buffoons,  from 
an  antique  in  his  collection:  to  which  the  reader  is  referred  for 
a  stronger  idea  of  the  vitiated  and  low  taste  of  those,  who  could 
receive  from  them  any  gratification.  See  Mid  diet  vn,  Antiq, 
tab.  9,Jig  2. 

*Liv.l.  39,  c.  6, 

VOL.  II.  M 


ready  to  ask,  "  not  have  them  yourself?"  Because 
the  gestures  of  the  wanton,  the  pleasantries  of  the 
buffoon,  or  the  extravagancies  of  the  mummer, 
give  me  no  pleasure,  as  they  give  me  no  surprise. 
It  is  my  particular  taste,  you  see,  not  my  judg- 
ment, that  I  plead  against  them.  And,  indeed, 
what  numbers  are  there  who  think  the  entertain- 
ments in  which  you  and  I  most  delight  are  no 
better  than  impertinent  follies  ?  How  many  are 
there,  who,  as  soon  as  a  reader,  a  lyrist,  or  a  co- 
median is  introduced,  either  withdraw  from  the 
company,  or,  if  they  remain,  shew  as  much  dis- 
like to  this  kind  of  diversions,  as  you  did  at  those 
monsters,  as  you  call  them  !  Let  us  bear,  there- 
fore, my  friend,  with  others  in  their  amusements, 
that  they,  in  return,  may  shew  indulgence  to 
ours.  Farewcl. 


WITH  what  care  and  attention  you  will  read 
my  works,  and  how  perfectly  treasure  them  in 
your  memory,  your  letter  is  a  sufficient  proof. — 
Do  you  consider  then,  what  trouble  you  are 
bringing  upon  your  hands,  when  you  kindly  en- 
tice me,  by  every  friendly  artifice,  to  communi- 
cate to  you  as  many  of  them  as  possible  ?  I  can- 


not,  certainly,  refuse  your  request ;  but  shall 
comply  with  it,  however,  at  different  intervals, 
and  observe  some  kind  of  regular  succession. — 
For,  I  would  not,  by  too  copious  and  too  frequent 
a  supply,  over-burthen  and  confound  a  memory, 
to  which  I  already  owe  so  many  acknowledg- 
ments ;  nor  pour  in  upon  it  such  a  profusion  at 
once,  as  to  obliterate  what  it  had  before  retained, 
in  order  to  make  room  for  what  succeeds. — 


To  RUFO. 

You  have  read,  it  seems,  in  a  letter*  of  mine, 
that  Virginius  Rufus  directed  the  following  lines 
to  be  inscribed  upon  his  tomb  : 

Here  Rufus  lies,  who  V  index*  arms  withstood, 
Not  for  himself,  but  for  his  country's  good  : 

For  which  you  blame  him,  and  think  Frontinus 
acted  much  more  reasonably,  in  forbidding  any 
monument  whatsoever  to  be  erected  to  his  me- 
mory ;  and,  in  the  conclusion  of  your  letter,  you 
desire  my  sentiments  upon  each.  I  loved  them 
both  ;  but  I  confess  I  admired  him  most  whom 
you  condemn  ;  and  admired  him  to  such  a  de- 

*  To  Albinus;  see  book  vi.  letter  10. 


168  THIS  LETTERS         BOOK  IX. 

gree,  that,  so  far  from  imagining  I  ever  should 
have  occasion  to  become  his  advocate,  I  thought 
he  could  never  be  sufficiently  applauded.  In  my 
opinion,  every  man  \vho  has  acted  a  great  and 
distinguished  part,  deserves,  not  only  to  be  ex- 
cused, but  approved,  if  he  endeavours  to  secure 
immortality  to  the  fame  he  has  merited,  and  is 
desirous  also  to  perpetuate  an  everlasting  remem- 
brance of  himself,  by  monumental  inscriptions. 
Yet  rarely  shall  you  find  a  man,  who  had  per- 
formed such  great  achievements,  so  modestly  re- 
served upon  the  subject  of  his  own  actions,  as 
Virginius  was.  I  can  bear  him  witness  (and  I 
had  the  happiness  to  enjoy  his  intimate  friend- 
ship) that  I  never  but  once  heard  him  mention 
his  own  conduct;  and  that  was,  in  giving  an  ac- 
count of  a  conversation  which  passed  between 
him  and  Cluvius  :  "  You  well  know,"  said  Clu- 
vius  to  him,  "  the  fidelity  required  in  an  histo- 
"  rian ;  you  will  pardon  me,  therefore,  I  hope,  if 
"  you  should  meet  with  any  thing  in  my  works, 
"  that  !s  not  agreeable  to  you."—  "O  Cluvius," 
he  replied,  "  can  yen  be  ignorant  that  what  I  per- 
"  formed  was  in  order  that  every  man  might  en- 
"joy  the  liberty  of  writing  what  he  pleased?" 
But  let  us  compare  Frontinus  with  him  in  that 
very  instance,  wherein  you  think  the  former  dis- 
covered a  more  modest  and  unostentatious  dis- 
position. He  forbade  a  monument  to  be  erect- 

BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  \69 

eel  to  him,  it  is  true,  but  in  what  words  ?  "The 
"  expence  of  a  monument,"  says  he,  -"is  super- 
"  fluous  ;  the  remembrance  of  me  will  remain,  if 
"  my  actions  deserve  it."  Is  there  less  vanity, 
do  you  think,  thus  to  proclaim  to  all  the  world* 
that  his  memory  Avould  remain  ;  than  to  mark 
upon  a  single  tomb-stone,  in  two  lines,  the  actions 
one  has  performed  ?  It  is  not,  however,  my  de- 
sign to  condemn  your  favourite  hero ;  I  only 
mean  to  defend  Virginius ;  and  what  argument 
can  be  more  prevailing  with  you,  than  one  drawn 
from  a  comparison  between  him  and  the  person 
you  prefer  ?  In  my  own  opinion,  indeed,  neither 
of  them  deserve  to  be  condemned,  since  they 
both  were  animated  with  the  same  ardent  passion 
for  glony^  although  they  pursued  their  object  by 
different  roads ;  the  former,  in  desiring  to  receive 
those  monumental  honours  he  had  merited  ;  the 
latter,  in  seeming  to  despise  them.  Farevvel, 


a  It  appears  from  hence,  that  this  was  not  a  testamentary 
direction,  but  a  declaration  in  some  work  which  Frontinus  had 

M  3 

170  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  IX. 




THE  longer  your  letter  was,  so  much  the  more 
agreeable  I  thought  it ;  especially  as  it  turned 
entirely  upon  my'  works.  I  am  not  at  all  sur- 
prised you  should  find  a  pleasure  in  them,  since 
I  know  you  have  the  same  affection  for  every 
composition  of  mine,  as  you  have  for  the  author. 
The  getting  in  of  my  vintage  (which  though 
it  has  proved  but  a  slender  one  this  season,  is, 
however,  more  plentiful  than  I  expected)  parti- 
cularly employs  me  at  present.  If,  indeed,  I  can, 
with  any  propriety,  say  so,  who  only  gather  a 
grape  now  and  then,  visit  the  wine-press,  taste 
the  must  in  the  vat,  and  saunter  to  my  domes- 
tics ;*  who  being  all  engaged  without  doors,  have 
wholly  abandoned  me  to  my  readers  and  my  se- 
cretaries. Farewel. 



YOUR  frecdman,  whom  you  lately  mentioned  to 
me  with  displeasure,  has  been  with  me,  and  threw 
himself  at  my  feet  with  as  much  submission 


1  The  distinction  in  the  civil  law  between  the  servi  Urlani  fy 
Rustici,  is  alluded  to  in  the  original  ;  but  as  we  have  not  the 
same  among  us,  it  is  not  possible,  perhaps,  to  preserve  this  allu- 
sion, with  propriety,  in  an  English  translation. 

BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  1/1 


as  he  could  have  fallen  at  yours.     He  earnestly 
requested  me,  with  many  tears,  and  even  with  all 
the  eloquence  of  silent  sorrow,  to  intercede  for 
him  ;  in  short,  he  convinced  me,  by  his  whole  be- 
haviour, that  he  sincerely  repents  of  his  fault. — 
I  am  persuaded  he  is  thoroughly  reformed,    be- 
cause  he  seems  deeply  sensible  of  his  guilt.     I 
know  you  are  angry  with  him,  and  I  know  it 
is  not  without  reason ;    but  clemency  can  never 
exert  itself  more  laudably  than  when  there  is  the 
most  cause  for  resentment.     You  once  had  an 
aifection  for  this  man,  and  I  hope  will  have  again  : 
in  the  mean  while,   let  me  only  prevail  with  you 
to  pardon  him.     If  he  should  incur  your  displea- 
sure hereafter,  you  will  have  so  much  the  stronger 
plea  in  excuse  for  your  anger,  as  you  shew  your- 
self the  more  exorable  to  him  now.      Concede 
something  to  his  youth,  to  his  tears,  and  to  your 
own  natural  mildness  of  temper;  do  not  make 
him  uneasy  any  longer,  and  I  will  add,  too,   do 
not  make  yourself  so  ;    for  a  man  of  your  bene- 
volence of  heart  cannot  be  angry  without  feeling 
great  uneasiness.     I  am  afraid,  were  I  to  join  my 
entreaties  with  his,  I  should  seem  rather  to  com- 
pel, than  to  request  you  to  forgive  him.     Yet  I 
will  not  scruple  even  to  unite  mine  with  his  ;  and 
in  so  much  the  stronger  terms,  as  I  have  very 
sharply  and    severely   reproved  him,    positively 
threatening  never  to  interpose  again  in  his  behalf. 

M  4  But 

172  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  IX. 

But  though  it  was  proper  to  say  this  to  him,  in 
order  to  make  him  more  fearful  of  offending,  I 
do  not  say  so  to  you.  I  may,  perhaps,  again 
have  occasion  to  entreat  you  upon  his  account, 
and  again  obtain  your  forgiveness ;  supposing,  I 
mean,  his  fault  should  be  such  as  may  become  me 
to  intercede,  and  you  to  pardon.  Farewel. 


I  HAVE  been  much  alarmed  by  the  ill  state  of 
health  of  Passienus  Paulus,  as  indeed  I  had  many 
and  just  reasons.  He  has  a  most  excellent  and 
generous  heart,  of  which  I  have  the  happiness  to 
share  the  warmest  friendship.  In  his  writings  he 
very  successfully  emulates  the  ancients,  whose 
spirit  and  manner  he  has  closely  imitated,  and 
happily  restored ;  especially  that  of  Propertius, 
to  whom  he  is  no  less  related  by  genius  than  by 
blood,  as  he  particularly  resembles  that  poet  in  his 
chief  excellency.  When  you  read  his  elegies,  all 
that  is  elegant,  tender,  and  pleasing,  will  con- 
spire to  charm  you  ;  and  you  will  clearly  disco- 
ver they  are  animated  with  the  congenial  spirit  of 
Propertius.  He  has  lately  made  some  attempts 
of  the  lyric  kind,  in  which  he  as  successfully  co- 
pies the  manner  of  Horace,  as  he  -has  that  of  the 


BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  173 

other  poet  just  mentioned.  You  would  imagine, 
were  there  such  a  thing  as  kindred  in  genius,  that 
the  blood  of  Horace  likewise  flowed  in  his  veins. 
He  displays  a  most  wonderful  compass  and  preg- 
nancy of  imagination :  when  he  describes  the 
passion  of  love,  you  perceive  his  heart  is  entirely 
possessed  by  the  most  tender  sentiments ;  when 
he  paints  the  emotions  of  grief,  you  see  his  breast 
is  penetrated  with  the  deepest  sorrow ;  when  he 
enters  upon  topics  of  panegyric,  it  is  with  all  the 
ardour  of  the  warmest  benevolence  ;  when  he  di- 
verts himself  with  subjects  of  pleasantry,  it  is  in 
the  spirit  of  the  most  agreeable  gaiety ;  in  short, 
whatever  kind  of  poetry  he  engages  in,  he  exe- 
cutes it  with  such  a  masterly  hand,  that  one  would 
imagine  it  was  the  single  species  to  which  he  had 
applied  himself.  The  dangerous  indisposition  of 
such  a  friend  and  such  a  genius,  occasioned  as 
much  anxiety  to  me,  as  it  did  pain  to  him.  But 
at  length  he  is  recovered,  and  my  peace  is  re- 
stored :  an  event  which  deserves  your  congratu- 
lation, not  only  for  my  sake,  but  for  the  sake  of 
literature  itself,  which  was  exposed  to  as  great  a 
hazard  by  his  danger,  as  it  will  receive  glory  by 
his  recovery.  Farewel. 


174  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  IX. 

To  MAXIM  us. 

IT  has  frequently  happened,  when  I  have  been 
pleading  before  the  centumviri,  that  those  vene- 
rable judges,  after  having  preserved,  as  much  as 
possible,  the  gravity  and  solemnity  suitable  to 
their  character,  have  at  length  been  forced,  as  it 
were,  to  break  through  all  restraints,  and  have 
risen  up,  with  one  consent,  in  my  applause.  I 
have  often,  likewise,  gained  as  much  glory  in  the 
senate  as  my  utmost  wishes  could  desire  ;  but  I 
never  felt  a  more  sensible  pleasure,  than  by  an 
account  which  I  lately  received  from  Cornelius 
Tacitus.  He  informed  me,  that,  at  the  last  Cir- 
censian  games,  he  sat  next  to  a  certain  person, 
who,  after  much  discourse  had  passed  between 
them,  upon  various  points  of  erudition,  asked 
him  if  he  was  an  Italian  or  a  provincial  ?  Tacitus 
replied,  "  Your  acquaintance  with  literature  must 
"  have  informed  you  who  I  am."  —  "  Pray,  then, 
"  is  it  Tacitus  or  Pliny  I  am  talking  with?"  I 
cannot  express  how  highly  I  am  pleased  to  find 
that  our  names  are  not  so  much  the  proper  ap- 
pellatives of  men,  as  a  kind  of  distinction  for 
learning  herself;  and  that  eloquence  renders  us 
known  to  those  who  would  be  ignorant  of  us  by 


BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  175 

any  other  means.  An  accident  of  the  same  na- 
ture happened  to  me  a  few  days  ago.  Fabius 
Ruflnus,  a  person  of  distinguished  merit,  was 
placed  next  to  me  at  table,  and  below  him  a 
countryman  of  his,  who  was  just  then  come  to 
Rome  for  the  first  time.  Rufinus  desired  his 
friend  to  take  notice  of  me,  and  entered  into  a 
conversation  concerning  the  object  of  my  studies: 
to  whom  the  other  immediately  replied,  "That it 
must  undoubtedly  then  be  Pliny."  To  own  the 
truth,  I  look  upon  these  instances  as  a  very  con- 
siderable recompence  of  my  labours.  Had  De- 
mosthenes reason  to  be  pleased  with  the  old  wo- 
man of  Athens  exclaiming — "  This  is  Demost- 


henesa !"  and  may  I  not  be  allowed  to  congra- 
tulate myself  upon  the  extensive  reputation  my 
name  has  acquired  ?  Yes,  my  friend,  I  will  re- 
joice in  it,  and  without  scruple  confess  that  I  do. 
As  I  only  mention  the  judgment  of  others,  not 
my  own,  I  am  not  afraid  of  incurring  the  censure 


*  The  story,  as  related  by  Tully,  is  this :  Demosthenes  met 
an  old  woman  carrying  a  pail  of  water,  upon  which  she  whispers 
to  her  companion,  "  This  is  Demosthenes  !"  I  must  not,  how- 
ever, conceal  from  the  reader,  that  Tully  condemns  the  Grecian 
orator  for  being  pleased  upon  this  occasion,  and  accounts  for  ii 
in  the  true  spirit  of  genuine  philosophy,*  apud  alias  loqui  videli- 
cet didicerat,  non  multum  ipse  secum  :  he  had  learnt  the  art  in 
talking  to  others,  but  was  unacquainted,  it  seems,  with  the  most 
instructive  of  all  arts,  the  art  of  self-converse.  A  little  of  thi^ 
home-philosophy  would  have  taught  him,  in  the  judgment  ot 
Tully,  to  rate  vulgar  admiration  at  a  lower  value. 

*  Tusc.  1.  5. 


of  vanity  ;b  especially  from  you,  who,  as  you  envy 
no  man's  reputation,  so  you  are  particularly  zea- 
lous for  mine.  Farewel. 


b  Those  who  have  formed  their  notions  of  modesty  according 
to  the  false  refinements  in  manners  which  latter  times  have  in- 
troduced, will  take  offence,  probably,  at  the  advantageous 
terms  in  which  Pliny  here,  arjd  in  some  other  passages  of  these 
letters,  speaks  of  himself.  But  it  will  not  be  just  to  estimate 
our  author's  character  by  maxims  which  have  been  received  in 
the  world  long  since  he  left  it.  It  is  most  certain,  that  modesty, 
according  to  the  idea  the  ancients  had  of  it,  did  not  (neither  in 
the  truth  of  things  does  it)  forbid  a  man  to  speak  well  of  him- 
self, where  he  has  merit  to  support  the  character  he  claims. — 
True  modesty  consisted  only  (as  indeed  'it  ought  only  to  consist) 
in  being  ashamed  to  commit  any  thing  base  and  unworthy  ;  any 
thing  unbecoming  the  dignity  of  human  nature ;  any  thing  in 
defiance  of  that  reverence  we  owe  to  ourselves,  and  to  that  rank 
we  hold  in  the  order  of  rational  beings :  she  was,  in  short,  the 
custos  virtutum  omnium,  as  Tully  emphatically  calls  her,  the 
guardian  and  protectress  of  the  whole  train  of  human  virtues. 
Pliny,  who  often  recommends  modesty  as  one  of  the  most 
shining  virtues  in  others,  could  never  have  spoken  thus  favour- 
ably of  his  own  merit,  if  it  had  been  contrary  to  the  received 
notions  of  that  most  amiable  quality.  And  that  it  was  not,  is 
extremely  evident  from  the  whole  tenor  of  antiquity  in  th,e  ar- 
ticle of  self-commendation.  Homer's  Ulysses  (to  borrow  the 
observation  of  a  very  polite  and  judicious  critic)  "  calls  hirn- 
"  self  the  wisest  of  the  Grecians,  as  his  Achilles  does  not  scruple 
"  to  represent  himself  the  best  and  most  valiant  of  them  ;  and 
'*  that,  too,  in  a  council  of  all  the  princes :  Virgil  has  given  us 
"  his  approbation  of  both  the  one  and  the  other,  in  making 
"  ^Eneas  talk  frequently  of  his  own  piety  and  valour.  Socrates-, 
"  in  Plato,  is  always  brought  in  to  his  advantage  ;  he  himself 
"  quotes  the  oracle,  which  pronounced  him  to  be  the  wisest  of 
'*  men.  Xenophon  represents  Cyrus,  upon  his  death-bed,  as 
"  taking  notice  of  the  greatest  beauty  of  his  own  character,  his 
"  humanity,  in  a  piece  which  every  one  knows  was  designed 
"  for  the  character  of  a  perfect  prince.  Caesar,  and  the  great 
"  Jewish  writer  of  his  own  life,  frequently  commend  tru-m- 
fc<  selves :  the  greatest  critic,  as  well  as  the  greatest  orator 
"  among  the  Romans,  who  so  often  reckons  modesty  ameng  the 
"  things  which  are  most  necessary  toward  rendering  a  man 

"  great 

BOOK  IX.  of  PLINY.  177 

To  SAB  INI  AN  us. 

1  GREATLY  approve  of  your  having,  in  compli- 
ance with  my  letter,*  received  again  into  your  fa* 
mily  and  favour,  a  discarded  freedman,  whom 
you  once  admitted  into  a  share  of  your  affection. 
This  placability  will  afford  you,  I  doubt  not, 
great  satisfaction:  it  certainly,  at  least,  has  me, 
both  as  a  proof  that  you  are  capable  of  being  go- 
verned in  your  passion,  and  as  an  instance  of 
your  paying  so  much  regard  to  me,  as  to  yield 
either  to  my  authority,  or  to  my  request.  You 
will  accept,  therefore,  at  once,  both  of  my  ap- 
plause and  my  thanks.  At  the  same  time  I  must 
advise  you,  to  be  disposed  for  the  future  to  par- 
don the  faults  of  your  people,  though  there  should 
be  none  to  intercede  in  their  behalf.  Farewel. 


great  in-  his  profession  ;  how  open  and  frequent  is  he  in 
praising  himself,  and  setting  his  own  merit  in  a  true  light  ? 
But  what  puts  this  beyond  dispute,  (and  shews,  at  the  same 
time,  that  a  just  commendation  of  one's  self  may  be  very 
consistent  with  the  greatest  modesty)  is  to  be  found  in  the 
sacred  writings,  in  which  Moses  says  of  himself,  that  he  was 
ihe  meekest  man  upon  earth."  Essay  on  Pope's  Odys.  pt.  1. 

»  See  Let.  21  of  this  Book. 

178  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  IX. 


THOUGH  you  complain  of  the  crowd  of  military 
occupations  which  press  upon  you,  yet,  as  if  you 
were  enjoying  the  most  uninterrupted  leisure, 
you  read  and  admire,  it  seems,  my  poetical  trifles  ; 
and  not  a  little  encourage  me  to  persevere  in 
amusing  compositions  of  that  kind.  I  begin,  in- 
deed, to  pursue  this  sort  of  study,  not  only  with  a 
view  to  my  diversion,  but  my  reputation,  since 
they  have  approved  themselves  to  the  judgment 
of  a  man  of  your  dignity  and  learning,  and  what 
is  more,  of  your  sincerity.  At  present  I  have 
some  business  in  the  courts  of  law,  which  takes 
up  a  little  of  my  time  ;  but  as  soon  as  I  shall  have 
dispatched  it,  I  will  again  trust  my  muse  to  your 
candid  bosom.  You  will  suffer  my  little  doves 
and  sparrows  to  take  wing  among  your  eagles,3  if 
you  should  have  the  same  good  opinion  of  them 
as  they  have  of  themselves ;  if  not,  you  will  kind- 
ly confine  them  to  their  cage  and  their  nests. 



*  Alluding  to  the  Roman  standard,  which  was  an  eagle  fixed 
upon  the  top  of  a  spear. 

BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  179 



Is  AID  once  (and  I  think  not  improperly)  of  a 
certain  orator  of  the  present  age,  whose  compo- 
sitions are  extremely  regular  and  correct,  but  by 
no  means  animated  and  sublime,  "  His  only  fault 
"  is,  that  he  has  none."  Whereas  he  who  is  pos- 
sessed of  the  true  spirit  of  oratory,  should  be 
bold  and  daring ;  should  sometimes  rise  above 
the  precise  limits  of  common  rules  ;  and  frequent- 
ly soar  even  to  dangerous  heights  ;  for  danger 
is  generally  near  whatever  is  towering  and  ex- 

o  •/  o 

altecl.  The  plain,  'tis  true,  affords  a  safer,  but 
for  that  reason  a  more  humble  and  inglorious 
path  :  they  who  run,  are  more  likely  to  stumble 
than  they  who  creep  ;  but  the  latter  gain  no  ho- 
nour by  not  slipping,  while  the  former  even  fall 
with  glory.  It  is  with  eloquence  as  with  some 
other  arts ;  she  is  never  more  pleasing  than  when 
she  risks  most.  Have  you  not  observed  what 
acclamations  our  rope-dancers  excite,  at  the  in- 
stant of  imminent  danger  ?  Whatever  is  most 
surprisingly  hazardous,  or  as  the  Greeks  better 
express  it,  whatever  is  most  perilous,  most  excites 
our  admiration.  The  pilot's  skill  is  by  no  means 
1  equally 


equally  proved  in  a  calm,  as  in  a  storm  :  in  the 
former  case  he  tamely  enters  the  port,  unnoticed 
and  unapplaud^d  ;  but  when  the  cordage  cracks, 
the  mast  bends,  and  the  rudder  groans,  then  it  is 
that  he  shines,  in  all  his  glory,  and  is  hailed  a$ 
little  inferior  to  a  sea-god.  The  reason  of  mak- 
ing these  observations  is,  because,  if  I  mistake 
not,  you  have  marked  some  passages  in  my  wri- 
tings for  being  tumid,  exuberant,  and  over- 
wrought, which,  in  my  estimation,  are  but  ade- 
quate to  the  idea,  or  boldly  sublime.  It  is  mate- 
rial, therefore,  to  consider,  whether  your  criti- 
cism turns  upon  such  points  as  arc  real  faults,  or 
only  striking  and  remarkable  expressions.  What- 
ever is  elevated  is  sure  to  be  observed ;  but  it  re- 
quires a  very  nice  judgment  to  distinguish  the 
bounds  between  true  and  false  grandeur ;  be- 
tween a  just  and  enormous  height.  To  give  an 
instance  out  of  Homer,  both  of  the  grand  and 
elevated  style  in  the  following  lines,  which  can 
scarcely,  I  imagine,  have  escaped  any  reader's  ob- 
servation : 

Heaven  in  loud  thunder  bids  the  trumpet  sound  ; 
And  wide  beneath  them  groans  the  rending  ground.* 


Redirfd  on  clouds  his  steed  and  armour  lay?0 

*  Iliad,  xxi.  387,  Pope's  trans. 
b  Iliad,  v.  356',  speaking  of  Mars. 


BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  181 

So  in  this  whole  passage  : 

As  torrents  roll,  increased  by  numerous  rills, 
With  rage  impetuous  dotcn  their  echoing  hills, 
Rush  to  the  vales,  and  poured  along  the  plain, 
Roar  thro*  a  thousand  channels  to  the  main.c 

It  requires,  I  say,  a  very  delicate  hand  to  poise 
these  metaphors,  and  determine  whether  they  are 
too  figurative  and  pompous,  or  truly  majestic  and 
sublime.  Not  that  I  think  any  thing-  which  I  have 
written,  or  can  write,  admits  of  comparison  with 
these.  I  am  not  extravagant  enough  to  entertain 
so  proud  an  opinion :  what  I  would  be  under- 
stood to  contend  for  is,  that  we  should  throw 
up  the  reins  to  eloquence,  nor  curb  the  spirited 
exertions  of  genius  by  too  much  restraint.  But 
it  will  be  said,  perhaps,  there  is  a  wide  difference 


c  Iliad.  4.  v.  452.  Pope's  transl.  It  is  with  great  judgment 
Pliny  distinguishes  between  grwideur  and  elevation,  which,  though 
they  are  sometimes  confounded,  are  most  certainly  distinct. 
Grandeur  seems  to  consist  entirely  in  the  sentiment,  and  is  the 
first  of  the  rive  species  of  sublimity  which  Louginus*  has  enu- 
merated. The  passage  that  admired  critic  quotes  from  the  ac- 
count which  Moses  gives  of  the  creation,  is  of  this  kind  :  God 
said,  let  there  be  light,  and  there  was  light.  Here  is  nothing  in 
the  expression  ornamented  or  elevated  ;  the  language  is  plain 
and  simple,  yet  conveys  to  the  mind  the  noblest  idea  of  Omni- 
potence, that  the  utmost  efforts  of  the  strongest  imagination  can 
conceive.  But  when  a  sublime  thought  is  cloathed  (if  I  may  so 
say)  in  all  the  graceful  propriety  of  just  figure,  it  then  becomes 
elevated.  The  illustrations  which  our  author  produces  from 
Homer,  are  of  this  sort,  where  greatness  of  sentiment  is  height- 
ened by  beauty  of  imagery. 

*  Sect.  8. 

VOL,  II.  N 

182  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  IX. 

between  orators  and  poets.  As  if  Tully  were  not 
as  bold  in  his  figures  as  any  of  the  poets  !  Not 
to  mention  particular  instances  from  him,  in  an 
article  concerning  which,  I  imagine,  there  can  be 
no  dispute ;  does  Demosthenes3  himself,  that  mo- 
del and  standard  of  true  oratory,  does  Demost- 
henes check  and  repress  the  fire  of  his  indignation, 
in  that  well  known  passage  which  begins  thus  : 
"  Ye  infamous  flatterers,  ye  evil  genii,  £c.  ?'' — 
And  again,  "  It  is  neither  with  stones  nor  bricks 
"  that  I  have  fortified  this  city,  &c." — And  after- 
wards ;  "  I  have  thrown  up  these  out-works  be- 
"  fore  Attica,  and  pointed  out  to  you  all  the  re- 
41  sources  which  human  prudence  can  suggest,  £c." 
And  in  another  place;  "  O  my  countrymen,  I 
"  swear  by  the  immortal  gods,  that  he  is  intoxi- 
"  cated  with  the  spirit  of  his  own  magnanimous 
"  actions,  &c." — But  what  can  be  more  daring 
and  beautiful  than  that  long  digression,  which 
begins  in  this  manner  :  "A  terrible  disease,  O  my 
"  countrymen,  has  seized  upon  all  Greece,  &c.  ?" 


a  The  design  of  Pliny,  in  this  letter,  is  to  justify  the  figura- 
tive expressions  he  had  employed,  probably  in  some  oration, 
l;y  instances  of  the  same  warmth  of  colouring,  from  those  great 
masters  of  eloquence,  Demosthenes  and  his  rival  ^Eschines. 
But  the  force  of  the  passages  which  he  produces  from  these 
orators,  must  necessarily  be  greatly  weakened  to  a  mere  mo- 
-  dern  reader,  some  of  them  being  only  hinted  at,  as  generally 
well  known;  and  the  metaphors  in  several  of  the  others,  have 
cither  lost  much  of  their  original  spirit  and  boldness,  by  being 
introduced  and  received  in  common  language,  or  cannot,  per- 
haps, be  preserved  in  an  English  translation. 

BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  183 

The  following  passage,  likewise,  though  some- 
what shorter,  is  conceived  in  the  same  boldness 
of  metaphor  : — "  Then  it  was  1  rose  up  in  oppo- 
"  sition  to  the  daring  Pytho,  who  poured  forth 
"  a  torrent  of  menaces  against  you,  £c." — The 
subsequent  stricture  is  of  the  same  stamp  : — 
"  When  a  man  has  strengthened  himself,  as  Phi- 
"  lip  has,  by  rapine  and  wickedness,  upon  the 
"  first  pretence  that  offers,  at  the  first  impolitic 
"  step,  be  it  ever  so  inconsiderable,  'he  bristles 
"  up  his  mane,  and  seizes  all,  &c.'v — So,  in  the 
same  style  with  the  foregoing,  is  this  : — "Railed 
"  off,  as  it  were,  from  the  privileges  of  society, 
"  by  the  concurrent  and  just  judgments  of  the 
"  three  tribunals  in  the  city." — And  in  the  same 
place  :  "  O  Aristogiton  !  you  have  betrayed 
"  that  mercy  which  used  to  be  shewn  to  offences 
"  of  this  nature,  or  rather,  indeed,  you  have 
"  M'holly  destroyed  it.  In  vain  then  would  you 
(c  flee  for  refuge  to  a.  port,  which  you  have  shut 
"  up,  and  choaked  with  piles." — He  had  said 
before  ;  "I  am  afraid,  therefore,  you  should  ap- 
"  pear,  in  the  judgment  of  some,  to  have  erected 
11  a  public  seminary  of  faction  :  for  there  is  a 
"  weakness  in  all  wickedness,  which  renders  it 
"  apt  to  betray  itself!" — And  a  little  lower;  "  I 
"  see  none  of  these  resources  open  to  him ;  but 
"  all  is  precipice,  gulph,  and  profound  abyss." — '' 
And  again:  "  Nor  do  I  imagine  that  our  ances- 

N  2  "  tors, 

134  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  IX. 

"  tors  instituted  those  courts  of  judicature,  that 
u  men  of  his  character  should  Replanted  there; 
"  but,  on   the    contrary,    eradicated,   that  none 
"  may  emulate  their  evil  actions." — And  after- 
wards :    "  If  he  is  then  the  artificer   of  every 
"  wickedness,  if  he  openly  makes  it  his  trade 
"  and  traffic,  £c.'? — And  a  thousand  other  pas- 
sages which  I  might  cite  to  the  same  purpose ; 
not  to  mention  those  expressions  which  ^Eschines 
says  are  not  words,  but  wonders. — You  will  tell 
me,  perhaps,  I  have  unwarily  mentioned  .fEschmes, 
since  Demosthenes  is  condemned,  even  by  him, 
for  running    into    these    figurative   expressions. 
But  observe,  I  entreat  you,  how  far  superior  the 
former  orator  is  to  his  criticizer,   and   superior 
too  in  the  very  passages  to  which  he  objects ;  for 
in  others,   the  strength  of  his  genius  discovers 
itself;  in  those  above  quoted,  the  sublimity  of  it 
shines   out.     But  docs  ^Eschincs  himself  avoid 
that  mode  of  rhetoric  which  he  reproves  in  De- 
mosthenes? "The orator,"  says  he,  "  Oye  Athe- 
"  nians,   and  the  law,   ought  to  speak  the  same 
"  language ;  but  when  the  voice  of  the  law  de- 
"  clares  one  thing,  and  that  of  the  orator  ano- 
"  ther,  we  should  give  our  vote  to  the  justice  of 
"  the  law,  not  to  the  impudence  of  the  orator." — 
And  in  another  place :  "   He  afterwards   mani- 
"  festly  discovered  the  design  he  had,  of  con- 
"  cealing  his  fraud  under  cover  of  the  decree, 
1  "  having; 

BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  185 

"  having  expressly  declared  therein,  that  the  em- 
"  bassadors  sent  to  the  Oretae  gave  the  five 
*'  talents,  not  to  you,  but  to  Callias.  And  that 
"  you  may  be  convinced  what  I  say  is  the  truth 
"  (after  having  stripped  the  decree  of  its  gal  lies', 
"  its  trim,  and  its  arrogant  ostentation)  read  the 
"  clause  itself.'1 — And  in  another  part :  "  Suffer 
<£  him  not  to  break  cover,  and  escape  out  of  the 
e:  limits  of  the  question."  A  metaphor  he  is  so 
fond  of,  that  he  repeats  it  again :  "  But  re- 
"maining  firm  and  confident  in  the  assembly, 
"  drive  him  into  the  merits  of  the  question,  and 
"  observe  well  how  he  doubles.'" — Is  his  style 
more  reserved  and  simple,  when  he  says — "  But 
"  you  are  for  ever  wounding  our  ears,  and  are 
"  more  concerned  in  the  success  of  your  daily 
11  harangues,  than  for  the  salvation  of  the  city." 
—What  follows  is  conceived  in  a  yet  higher 
strain  of  figure:  "Will  you  not  expel  this  man 
"  as  the  common  calamity  of  Greece  ?  Will  you 
"  not  seize  and  punish  this  pirate  of  the  state, 
"  who  sails  about  in  quest  of  favourable  con- 
"  junctures  ?  &c." — with  many  other  passages  of 
the  like  nature. 

And  now  I  expect  you  will  make  the  same  at- 
tacks upon  certain  expressions  in  this  letter,  as 
you  did  upon  those  I  have  been  endeavouring  to 
defend.  The  rudder  that  groans,  and  the  pilot 
compared  to  a  sea  god,  will  not,  I  suppose,  es- 

N  3  cape 

186  THE  LETTERS         BOOK'IX. 

cape  your  criticism  :  for  I  perceive,  while  I  am 
suing  for  indulgence  to  my  former  style,  I  have 
fallen  into  the  same  kind  of  figurative  diction 
which  you  condemn.  But  attack  them  if  you 
please,  provided  you  will  immediately  appoint  a 
day  when  we  may  meet  to  discuss  these  matters 
in  person :  you  will  then  either  teach  me  to  he 
less  daring,  or  I  shall  learn  you  to  be  more  bold, 


To  LA T ERA. x us. 

J  HAVE  had  many  occasions  to  observe  the 
power,  the  dignity,  the  majesty,  and,  I  will  add 
too,  even  the  divine  efficacy  there  is  in  history; 
but  I  never  met  with  so  strong  an  instance  of  it 
as  lately.  An  author  had  recited  part  of  an  his- 
torical performance,  which  he  had  drawn  up  with 
the  utmost  regard  to  truth,  reserving  the  remain- 
der for  another  reading,  when,  behold !  the 
friends  of  a  certain  person  came  to  him,  and  ear- 
nestly conjured  him  not  to  recite  the  rest ;  so 
much  were  they  ashamed  to  hear  those  actions 
repeated,  which  yet  they  did  not  blush  to  com- 
mit !  The  historian  complied  writh  their  request; 
as  he  honourably  might.  Nevertheless,  both 
the  history  and  the  action 'still  remain,  and  will 
ever  remain  and  be  read.  It  will  be  read  too  with 

V     ' 

BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  187 

so  much  the  greater  curiosity,  as  the  publication 
is  delayed:  for  nothing  raises  the  inquisitive  dis- 
position of  mankind  so  much,  as  to  defer  its  gra- 
tification. Farewel. 

To  ROMAN  us. 

Y o  u  R  letters  have  at  length  reached  me,  and 
I  received  three  at  once,  all  most  elegantly  writ- 
ten, and  in  the  warmest  spirit  of  friendship ;  in 
short,  such  as  I  had  reason  to  expect  from  you, 
especially  after  having  wished  for  them  so  long. 
In  one,  you  enjoin  me  the  very  agreeahle  commis- 
sion of  forwarding  your  letter  to  that  excellent 
lady,  the  virtuous  Plotina  :H  I  have  forwarded 
them.  In  the  same  letter  you  recommend  to  me 
]?opilius  Artemisius,  and  accordingly  I  have  per- 

1  Plotina  was  consort  to  the  emperor  Trajan.  Her  virtues 
are  celebrated  by  several  historians,  and  onr  author  draws  a 
most  amiable  character  of  her  in  few  words,  in  his  noble  pane- 
gyric* upon  that  prince.  He  represents  her  (and  he  could  not 
give  a  higher  idea  of  her  merit)  as  worthy  the  choice  of  that 
excellent  emperor  ;  of  a  sanctity  of  manners  worthy  of  ancient 
Rome  ;  plain  in  her  habit,  modest  in  her  equipage,  and  polite 
in  her  address.  She  greatly  contributed,  it  is  said,f  to  the 
wise  choice  which  Trajan  made  of  a  successor  ;  and  Adrian,  in 
gratitude  for  her  good  offices  to  him  in  that  election,  dedicated 
a  magnificent  temple  to  her  memory,  at  Nismes  in  Languedoc , 
the  remains  of  which  are  still  to  be  seen.| 

*  Plin.  Paueg.  No.  83.  +  Eutrop.  L.  8.  e.  6. 

%  Muntfauc.  Diar.  p.  4. 

N  4 


formed  his  request.  You  tell  me,  also,  your  vin- 
tage has  proved  extremely  moderate.  That  com- 
plaint, notwithstanding  we  are  separated  by  such 
distant  countries,  is  common  to  us  both.  Your 
second  letter  informs  me,  that  you  are  employed 
in  dictating  and  writing  upon  a  subject,  wherein 
you  have  me  strongly  in  view.  I  am  much 
obliged  to  you,  and  should  be  more  so,  if  you1 
would  give  me  the  pleasure  of  reading  your  per- 
formance. It  is  but  just,  indeed,  that  as  I  com- 
municate to  you  all  my  compositions,  you  should 
suffer  me  to  partake  of  yours,  even  though  they 
should  turn  upon  subjects  which  concern  others. 
You  promise  me,  in  the  close  of  this  letter,  that  as 
soon  as  you  shall  be  informed,  with  certainty,  in 
what  manner  I  intend  to  dispose  of  myself,  you 
will  make  an  elopement  from  your  family,  and  im- 
mediately fly  to  me  :  I  am  already  preparing  cer- 
tain chains  for  you,  which,  when  I  have  you  here, 
you  will  by  no  means  be  able  to  break.  I  learn 
from  your  third,  that  my  oration  in  behalf  of 
Clarius  has  been  delivered  to  you,  and  that  it  ap- 
pears more  full  than  when  you  heard  it  pro- 
nounced. It  is  so,  I  confess  ;  for  I  afterwards 
very  considerably  enlarged  it.  You  mention 
having  sent  me  another  letter,  which  you  say  was 
written  with  peculiar  consideration,  and  desire  to 
know  if  I  have  received  it :  I  have  not,  but  im- 
patiently wait  its  arrival.  In  the  mean  while, 


BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  189 

write  to  me  by  every  opportunity,  and  pay  me 
for  this  delay  with  interest,  which  I  shall  compute 
at  the  highest  rate :  for  tell  me,  can  you  expect 
I  should  acquit  you  upon  cheaper  terms  ?  Fare-* 


As  it  is  better  to  excel  in  any  single  art,  than  to 
arrive  only  at  mediocrity  in  several ;  so,  a  mode- 
rate skill  in  several  is  to  be  preferred,  where  one 
cannot  attain  to  perfection  in  any.  Upon  this 
maxim  it  is,  that  I  have  attempted  compositions 
of  various  sorts,  as  I  could  not  expect  to  carry 
any  particular  one  to  its  highest  excellency.  I 
hope,  therefore,  when  you  read  any  performance 
of  mine,  you  will  consider  it  with  that  indulgence 
which  is  due  to  an  author,  who  has  not  confined 
himself  to  a  single  subject,  but  has  struck  out  in- 
to different  kinds  of  composition.  In  every  other 
sort  of  workmanship,  the  number  pleads  some  ex- 
cuse for  the  deficiencies  of  the  artist ;  and  shall 
works  of  literature,  the  most  difficult  of  all  others, 
be  tried  by  a  severer  law  ?  But  whilst  I  am  be- 
speaking your  candour,  am  I 'not  bringing  my 
gratitude  in  question  ?  For,  if  you  receive  these 
last  pieces  with  the  same  indulgence  that  you 
have  all  my  former,  I  have  more  reasons  to  hope 


190  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  IX. 

for  your  praise,   than  to  sue  for  your  pardon  : 
your  pardon,  however,  will  be  sufficient.  Farewel 



i  ou  have  frequently,  in  conversation,  and  late- 
ly in  a  letter,  commended  your  friend  Nonius  to 
nie,  for  his  great  liberality  to  certain  particular 
persons  ;  I  shall  join  with  you  in  applauding  him, 
if  his  bounty  is  not  confined  to  those  only  whom 
you  mention.  I  would  have  him  who  desires  to 
shew  himself  influenced  by  a  spirit  of  true  gene- 
rosity, be  liberal  to  his  country,  his  kindred,  his 
relations,  and  his  friends ;  his  friends,  I  mean,  in 
distress  :  not  like  those  who  chiefly  bestow  their 
presents,  where  there  is  the  greatest  ability  to 
make  returns.  I  do  not  look  upon  such  men  as 
parting  with  any  thing  of  their  own ;  on  the  con- 
trary, I  consider  their  bounties  as  only  so  many 
disguised  baits,  thrown  out  with  a  design  of 
catching  the  property  of  others.  Much  of  the 
same  character  are  those,  who  take  from  one  man 
hi  order  to  bestow  on  another,  and  aim  at  a  re- 
putation for  munificence  by  sordid  means.  The 
first  and  fundamental  principle  of  genuine  bene- 
£cence,  is  to  be  contented  with  one's  own  ;  and 
-after  that  to  cherish  and  embrace  all  the  most  in- 


digent  of  every  kind,  in  one  comprehensive  circle 
of  general  benevolence.  If  your  friend  observes 
this  rule  in  its  full  extent,  he  is  entirely  to  be 
commended  ;  if  he  only  partially  pursues  it,  still 
he  deserves  (in  a  less  degree  indeed,  however  he 
deserves)  praise  :  so  uncommon  is  it  to  meet  with 
an  instance  of  generosity  even  of  the  most  im- 
perfect kind  !  The  lust  of  avarice  has  so  totally 
seized  upon  mankind,  that  their  wealth  seems 
rather  to  possess  them,  than  they  to  possess  their 
wealth.  Farewel. 


1  STILL  continued  to  enjoy  your  company,  even 
after  we  had  parted  ;  for  I  entertained  myself  with 
reading  your  book.  And  I  frequently  perused, 
with  particular  complacency  (I  honestly  own  it) 
those  passages  of  which  I  am  the  subject :  a  sub- 
ject upon  which,  indeed,  you  have  been  extreme-, 
ly  copious.  With  what  a  variety  of  expression, 
and  in  how  many  different  lights  have  you  placed 
the  same  sentiments  concerning  the  same  person? 
Will  you  suffer  me  to  mingle  my  applauses  with, 
my  acknowledgments  ?  I  can  do  neither  suffici- 
ently ;  and  if  I  could,  there  would  be  somewhat, 
I  fear,  of  vanity,  in  making  that  person  the  sub- 


ject  of  my  praise,  which  is,  in  truth,  the  object 
of. my  thanks.  I  will  only  add,  then,  that  I 
thought  your  compliments  to  me  raised  the  me- 
rit of  your  performance ;  as  the  merit  of  your  per- 
formance heightened  the  pleasure  of  your  compli- 
ments. Farewel. 


To    TlTIANUS. 

WHAT  are  you  doing?  And  what  do  you  pro- 
pose to  do  ?  As  for  myself,  I  pass  my  life  in 
the  most  agreeable,  that  is,  in  the  most  disen- 
gaged manner  imaginable.  I  do  not  find  my- 
self, therefore,  in  the  humour  to  write  along  let- 
ter, though  I  am  to  read  one.  I  am  too  much  a 
man  of  indolence  for  the  former,  and  just  idle 
enough  for  the  latter  :  for  none  are  more  indolent, 
you  know,  than  your  fine  gentlemen,  or  have 
more  curiosity  than  those  who  have  nothing  to 

do.     Farewel. 


BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  193 


I  HAVE  met  with  a  story,  which  though  it  is 
authenticated  by  undoubted  evidence,  has  all  the 
air  of  fable,  and  would  afford  a  very  proper  sub- 
ject for  the  exercise  of  your  truly  poetical  and 
sublime  genius.  It  was  related  to  me,  the  other 
day,  at  table,  where  the  conversation  happened 
to  turn  upon  various  kinds  of  extraordinary 
events.  The  person  who  gave  the  account  was 
a  man  of  unsuspected  veracity  : — but  what  has  a 
poet  to  do  with  truth  ?  However,  you  might 
venture  to  rely  upon  his  testimony,  even  though 
you  had  the  character  of  a  faithful  historian  to 
support.  There  is  in  Africa  a  town  called  Hippo, 
situated  not  far  from  the  sea  coast:  it  stands 
upon  a  navigable  lake,  from  whence  a  river  runs 
into  the  main  ocean,  and  ebbs  and  flows  with 
tbe  sea.  Persons  of  all  ages  divert  themselves 
here  with  fishing,  sailing,  or  swimming;  especially 
boys,  whom  love  of  play  and  idleness  bring  thi- 
ther. The  contest  among  them  is,  who  shall 
have  the  glory  of  swimming  farthest ;  and  he  that 
leaves  the  shore  and  his  companions  at  the  great- 
est distance,  gains  the  victory.  It  happened, 
an  one  of  these  trials  of  skill,  that  a  certain  boy, 
more  bold  than  the  rest,  launched  out  towards 



theopposite  shore.  He  was  met  by  a  dolphin,* 
who  sometimes  swam  before  him,  and  sometimes 
behind  him,  then  played  round  him,  and  at  last 
took  him  upon  his  back,  then  set  him  down,  and 
afterwards  took  him  up  again;  and  thus  he  car- 
ried the  poor  frighted  boy  out  into  the  deepest 
part :  when  immediately  he  turns  back  asjain  to 

.1  v*  <J 

the  shore,  and  lands  him  among  his  companions. 
The  fame  of  this  remarkable  event  spread  through 
the  town,  and  crowds  of  people  flocked  round  the 
boy  (whom  they  viewed  as  a  kind  of  prodigy) 
to  ask  him  questions,  and  hear  him  relate  the 
story.  The  next  day  the  shore  was  lined  with 
multitudes  of  spectators,  all  attentively  contem- 
plating the  ocean,  and  (what  indeed  is  almost  it- 
self an  ocean)  the  lake.  In  the  mean  while  the 
boys  swam  as  usual,  and,  among  the  rest,  the  youth 
I  am  speaking  of  went  into  the  lake,  but  with 
more  caution  than  before.  The  dolphin  again 
appeared,  and  came  to  the  boy,  who,  together  with 
his  companions,  swam  away  with  the  utmost  preci- 
pitation. The  dolphin,  as  it  were,  to  invite  and 
recal  them,  leaped  and  dived  up  and  down,  dart- 
ing about  in  a  thousand  different  convolutions. 
This  he  practised  for  several  days  together, 
till  the  people  (accustomed  from  their  infancy 


a  This  animal  is  celebrated  by  several  of  the  ancients  for  its 
philanthropy,  and  Pliny  the  elder,  in  particular,  relates  this  very 
s-tury,  among  other  instances,  in  confirmation  of  that  notion. 
See  Plin.  hist.  nat.  1.  9-  c.  8. 


to  the  sea  )  began  to  be  ashamed  of  their  timi- 
dity. They  ventured,  therefore,  to  advance 
nearer,  playing  with  him,  and  calling  him  to 
them,  while  he,  in  return,  suifered  himself  to  be 
touched  and  stroked.  Use  rendered  them  more 
courageous  :  the  boy,  in  particular,  who  first  had 
experienced  the  safety,  swam  by  the  side  of  him, 
and  leaping  upon  his  back,  was  carried  about  in 
that  manner :  thus  they  gradually  became  ac- 
quainted and  delighted  with  each  other.  There 
seemed  now,  indeed,  to  be  no  fear  on  either  side, 
the  confidence  of  the  one,  and  tameness  of  the 
other,  mutually  increasing  ;  the  rest  of  the  boys, 
in  the  mean  while,  surrounding  and  encouraging 
their  companion.  It  is  very  remarkable,  that 
this  dolphin  \vas  followed  by  a  second,  which 
seemed  only  as  a  spectator  and  attendant  on  the 
former  ;  for  he  did  not  at  all  submit  to  the  same 
familiarities  as  the  first,  but  only  conducted  him 
backwards  and  forwards,  as  the  boys  did  their 
comrade.  But  what  is  farther  surprising,  and 
no  less  true  than  that  which  I  have  already  re- 
lated, is,  this  dolphin,  who  thus  played  with  the 
boys,  and  carried  them  upon  his  back,  would 
come  upon  the  shore,  dry  himself  in  the  sand, 
and,  as  soon  as  he  grew  warm,  roll  back  into  the 
sea.  Octavius  Avitus,  deputy  governor  of  the 
province,  actuated  by  an  absurd  piece  of  super- 

196  TIIL  LETTERS        BOOK  IX, 

stition,  poured  some  precious  ointment b  over  him 
as  he  lay  on  the  shore :  the  novelty  and  smell  of 
which  made  him  retire  into  the  ocean,  and  it  was 
not  till  after  several  days  that  he  was  seen  again, 
when  he  appeared  dull  and  languid ;  however,  he 
recovered  his  strength,  and  continued  his  usual 
playful  tricks.  All  the  magistrates  round  the 
country  flocked  hither  to  view  this  sight;  the 
entertainment  of  whom,  upon  their  arrival,  and 
during  their  stay,  was  an  additional  expence, 
which  the  slender  finances  of  this  little  commu- 
nity would  ill  afford ;  besides,  that  the  quiet  and 
retirement  of  the  place  was  utterly  destroyed. 
It  was  thought  proper  therefore  to  remove  the 
occasion  of  this  concourse,  by  privately  killing 
the  poor  dolphin.  And  now,  with  what  a  flow  of 
tenderness  will  you  describe  this  affecting  catas- 
trophe!0 and  ho\v  will  your  genius  adorn  and  im- 
prove the  interesting  story  !  Though,  indeed,  the 


b  It  was  a  religious  ceremony  practised  by  the  ancients,  to 
pour  precious  ointments  upon  the  statues  of  their  gods  :  Avitus, 
it  is  probable,  imagined  this  dolphin  was  some  sea  divinity,  and 
therefore  expressed  his  veneration  of  him,  by  the  solemnity  of  a 
sacred  unction. 

e  The  overflowing  humanity  of  Pliny's  temper  breaks  out 
upon  all  occasions,  but  he  discovers  it  in  nothing  more  strongly 
than  by  the  impression  which  this  little  story  appears  to  have 
made  upon  him.  True  benevolence,  indeed,  extends  itself 
through  the  whole  compass  of  existence,  and  sympathizes  with 
the  distress  of  every  creature  capable  of  sensation.  Little 


BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY,  197 

subject  does  not  require  any  fictitious  embellish- 
ments ;  it  will  be  sufficient  to  describe  the  fact  in 
all  its  real  circumstances.  Farewel. 


ASSIST  me  in  settling  my  doubts.  I  have  not, 
I  am  told,  a  good  manner  of  reading  verses  :  as 
my  talent  lies  chiefly  in  reciting  orations,  I  suc- 
ceed so  much  the  worse,  it  seems,  in  poetry.  I 
design,  therefore,  as  I  am  engaged  to  recite  some 
poems  to  my  particular  friends,  to  make  use  of 
my  freedman  for  that  purpose.  It  is  an  instance, 
I  own,  of  my  treating  them  with  little  ceremony, 
that  I  assign  this  business  to  a  person  who  is  him- 
self not  very  expert  in  it.  However,  he  will  per- 
form, I  am  sure,  better  than  I  can,  provided  his 


minds  may  be  apt  to  consider  a  compassion  of  this  inferior 
kind,  as  an  instance  of  weakness  ;  but  it  is  undoubtedly  the 
evidence  of  a  noble  nature.  Homer  thought  it  not  unbecoming 
the  character  even  of  a  hero,  to  melt  into  tears  at  a  distress  of 
this  sort,  and  has  given  us  a  most  amiable  and  affecting  picture 
of  Ulysses  weeping  over  his  faithful  dog  Argus,  when  he  expires 
at  his  feet : 

Pfi»  X 

Soft  pity  touch' d  the  mighty  master's  soul; 
Ado-wii  Ids  cheek  the  tear  unbidden  stole, 
Stole  unperceiv'd;  he  turn'd  his  head  and  dry'd 
The  drop  humane. Odys.  xfii.  Pope. 

VOL.  II.  O 

198  '  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  IX. 

fears  do  not  disconcert  him  ;  for  he  is  as  novel  a 
reader  as  I  am  a  poet.  Now  the  question  is,  how 
it  becomes  me  to  behave  while  he  is  discharging 
my  office  ;  shall  I  sit  in  a  fixed  and  indolent  pos- 
ture, or  follow  him  as  he  pronounces,  with  my 
looks,  hands,  and  a  low  tone  of  applause,  in  the 
manner  of  a  certain  person  whom  you  know  ? 
But  I  am  apprehensive,  I  can  appropriate  my 
gestures*  no  better  than  I  can  read.  I  repeat  it 
again,  therefore,  you  must  extricate  me  out  of  this 
difficulty,  and  tell  me  truly,  whether  you  think 
it  more  excusable  to  read  ill,  than  to  practise  or 
omit  any  of  the  circumstances  above-mentioned. 



*  \fl  the  original  it  is  called  saltatio,  which  means  a  motion 
cf  the  hands,  accommodated  either  to  one's  own,  or  another's 
elocution.  Our  language  does  not  supply  a  proper  word  for 
this  gesture,  as  indeed  we  have  too  little  occasion  to  find  the 
vant  of  it ;  the  chtroncmic  art,  so  much  studied  by  the  ancients, 
being  in  the  number  of  those  which  have  been  long  since  lo»t. — 
But  if  the  iiuloctic  ruslicoKc  nuimis*  the  awkward  and  un- 
meaning disposition  of  the  hands,  would  have  spoiled  the 
noblest  speech  at  Rome  or  Athens,  that  Tully  or  Demosthenes, 
.in  all  the  warmth  of  their  enlivening  eloquence,  ever  delivered  ; 
it  would  not,  perhaps,  be  time  ill  employed,  if  mjr  modern 
orators  would  give  a  little  more  attention  to  the  graceful  ma- 
nagement of  those  essential  instruments  of  affecting  elocution. 
This  becoming  art,  so  far  as  it  was  connected  with  masculine 
oratory,  Pliny,  most  certainly,  could  not  but  be  well  skilled  in  : 
?t  is  probable,  therefore,  what  he  says,  in  this  place,  alludes  to 
this  affected  manner  which  certain  authors  of  his  time  had  fallen 
into,  when  they  attended  the  rehearsal  of  their  own  works;  and 
that  the  whole  turn  of  this  epistle  is  ironical.  This  conjecture 
seems  supported  not  only  by  the  subject  of  the  letter,  which  is 
scarce  of  importance  enough  to  bear  a  serious  enquiry;  but  al- 
po  by  the  expression  he  sets  out  with,  viz.  Explica  zestum 
which  seems  to  be  of  the  ludicrous  kind. 

*  (^uinclilinn. 



I  HAVE  received  your  book,  and  return  you  my 
thanks,  but  am  at  present  too  much  engaged  to 
have  time  to  read  it ;  which,  however,  I  impatient- 
ly wish  to  do.  I  have  that  high  reverence  for 
literature  in  general,  and  for  your  compositions 
in  particular,  that  I  think  it  a  sort  of  profanation 
to  approach  them  but  with  a  mind  entirely  dis- 
engaged.— I  extremely  approve  of  your  care  in 
revising  your  works  ;  but  remember,  correctness 
has  its  limits :  too  much  polishing  rather  weak- 
ens than  strengthens.  Besides,  this  excessive 
delicacy,  while  it  obstructs  other  pursuits,  not 
only  prevents  any  new  attempts,  but  does  not 
finish  even  what  it  has  begun.  Farewel. 

To  Fuse  us. 

You  desire  to  know  in  what  manner  I  dispose 
of  my  time,  in  my  summer  villa  at  Tuscum  ?  I 
rise  just  when  I  find  myself  in  the  humour,  though 
generally  with  the  sun ;  sometimes  indeed  sooner, 
t>ut  seldom  later.  When  I  am  up,  I  continue  to 

O  %  keen 

200  THE  LETTERS        BOOK  IX. 

keep  the  shutters  of  my  chamber  windows  closed ; 
as    darkness    and   silence  wonderfully   promote 
meditation.    Thus  free  and  abstracted  from  those 
outward  objects  which  dissipate  attention,  I  am 
left  to  my  own  thoughts ;  nor  suffer  my  mind  to 
wander  with  my  eyes,  but  keep  my  eyes  in  sub- 
jection to  my  mind  :  by  these  means  they  are  not 
distracted  with  a  multiplicity  of  external  objects, 
and  see  nothing  but  what  the  imagination  repre- 
sents to  them.  If  I  have  any  composition  upon  my 
hands,  this  is  the  time  I  choose  to  consider  it,  not 
only  with  respect  to  the  general  plan,  but  even 
the  style  and  expression,  which  I  revise  and  cor- 
rect as  if  I  were  actually  writing.     In  this  man- 
ner, I  compose  more  or  less  as  the  subject  is  more 
or  less  difficult,  and  I  find  my  memory  able  to 
retain  it.     I  then  call  my  secretary,  and,  opening 
the  shutters,  dictate  to  him  what  I  have  com- 
posed ;  after  which  I  dismiss  him  for  a  little  while, 
and  then  call  him  in  again.     About  ten  or  eleven 
of  the  clock  (for  I  do  not  observe  one  fixed  hour) 
according  as  the  weather  proves,  I  either  walk 
upon  my  terrace,  or  in  the  covered  portico ;  and 
there  I  continue  to  meditate  or  dictate  what  re- 
mains upon  the  subject  in  which  I  happen  to  be 
engaged.     From  thence  I  get  into  my  chariot, 
where   I  employ  myself  as   before,  when  I  was 
walking,  or  in,  my  study;  and  find  this  changing 

1  of 

BOOK.  IX.  OF  PLINY.  201 

of  the  scene  refreshes  and  enlivens  my  attention. 
At  my  return,  I  repose  myself;  then  take  a  walk, 
and  after  that,  repeat  aloud  some  Greek  or  Latin 
oration,  not  so  much  for  the  sake  of  strengthen- 
ing my  voice  *  as  my  digestion  ;  though  indeed  the 
power  of  the  voice  at  the  same  time  is  improved 
by  this  practice.  I  then  walk  again,  am  anointed, 
take  my.  exercises,  and  go  into  the  bath.  At 
supper,  if  I  have  only  my  wife,  or  a  few  friends 
with  me,  some  author  is  read  to  us  ;  and,  after  sup- 
per, we  are  entertained  either  with  music,  or  an 
interlude.  When  that  is  finished,  I  take  my  walk 
with  my  family,  in  the  number  of  which  I  am 
not  without  some  persons  of  literature.  Thus 
we  pass  our  evenings  in  various  conversation; 
and  the  day,  even  when  it  is  at  the  longest,  steals 
imperceptibly  away.  Upon  some  occasions  I 
change  the  order  in  certain  of  the  articles  above- 
mentioned.  For  instance,  if  I  have  studied  longer, 
or  walked  more  than  usual ;  after  my  second  sleep, 
and  reading  an  oration  or  two  aloud,  instead  of 
using  my  chariot,  I  get  on  horse-back ;  by  which 


•*  By  the  regimen  which  Pliny  here  follows,  one  would 
imagine,  if  he  had  not  told  us  who  were  his  physicians,  that 
the  celebrated  Celsus  was  in  the  number.  That  author  ex- 
pressly recommends  reading  aloud,  and  afterwards  walking,  as 
beneficial  in  disorders  of  the  stomach  ;  Si  quis  sfomacho  laborat, 
legere  dare  debet  ;  ^ost  lexioncm  ambulare,  <$c.  Ceisi  medic. 
L.  1.  c.  8. 

O  3 


means  I  take  as  much  exercise,  and  lose  less  time. 
The  visits-  of  my  friends  from  the  neighbouring 
villages  claim  some  part  of  the  day ;  and  some- 
times, hy  an  agreeable  interruption,  they  come  in 
very  seasonably  to  relieve  me,  when  I  am  fatigued, 
I  now  and  then  amuse  myself  with  sporting,  but 
always  take  my  tablets  into  the  field,  that  if  I 
should  not  meet  with  game,  I  may  at  least  bring 
home  something.6  Part  of  my  time,  too,  is  allotted 
to  my  tenants,  though  indeed  not  so  much  of  it 
as  they  desire :  and  I  return  from  settling  their 
rustic  controversies  with  a  better  relish  to  my 
studies  and  more  elegant  occupations.  Farewel. 


To  PA u LINUS. 

A     ' 

As  you  are  not  of  a  disposition  to  expect  from 

your  friends,  the  common  ceremonies  of  the  world, 
M'hen  they  cannot  observe  them  without  incon- 
venience to  themselves  ;  so  I  too  warmly  love  you 
to  be  apprehensive  you  will  take  it  unkind,  my 
not  waiting  upon  you  on  the  first  day  of  your 
entrance  upon  the  consular  office ;  especially  as  I 
urn  detained  here  by  the  necessity  of  letting  my 


k  See  C.  1.  1st.  6.  and  the  note  there. 

BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  203 

farms  upon  long  leases.  I  am  obliged  to  enter 
upon  an  entire  new  plan  with  my  tenants ;  for, 
under  the  former  leases,  though  I  made  them 
very  considerable  abatements,  they  have  run 
greatly  in  arrear.  For  this  reason,  several  of  them 
have  not  only  taken  no  sort  of  care  to  lessen  a 
debt,  which  they  found  themselves  incapable 
of  wholly  discharging ;  but  even  seized  and  con- 
sumed all  the  produce  of  the  lands,  in  the  belief 
that  it  would  now  be  no  advantage  to  themselves 


to  spare  it.  I  must  therefore  obviate  this  in- 
creasing evil,  and  endeavour  to  find  out  some 
remedy  against  it.  The  only  one  I  can  think  of 
is,  not  to  reserve  my  rent  in  money,  but  in  kind, 
and  so  place  some  of  niy  servants  to  over-look 
the  tillage,  and  guard  the  stock ;  as  indeed  there 
is  no  sort  of  revenue  more  agreeable  to  reason, 
than  what  arises  from  the  bounty  of  the  soil,  the 
seasons,  and  the  climate.  Tis  true,  this  method 
will  require  great  integrity  and  diligent  attend- 
ance in  the  person  I  appoint  my  bailiff,  and  put 
me  to  the  expence  of  employing  many  hands. 
However,  I  must  hazard  the  experiment ;  and,  as 
in  an  inveterate  distemper,  try  every  change  of 
regimen.  You  see,  it  is  not  any  pleasurable  in- 
dulgence that  prevents  my  attending  you  on  the 
first  day  of  your  consulship.  I  shall  celebrate  it, 
nevertheless,  with  as  much  festivity  as  if  I  were 

O  4  present, 

204  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  IX. 

present,  and  pay  my  vows  for  you  here,  with  sen- 
timents of  the  warmest  joy  and  congratulation. 



Y  ES,  I  sincerely  applaud  your  friend  Rufus ;  not 
because  you  desire  me,  but  because  I  think  he 
highly  merits  approbation.  I  have  perused  his 
very  finished  performance ;  to  which,  though  my 
affection  for  the  author  added  a  considerable  re- 
commendation, yet  it  did  not  blind  my  judgment; 
for  the  malicious  critic  is  not,  I  trust,  the  only 
judicious  reader.  Farewel. 


IN  compliance  with  the  advice  of  the  Arus- 
pices,a  I  intend  to  rebuild  and  enlarge  the  temple 
of  Ceres,  which  stands  upon  my  estate.  It  is 


*  The  business  of  the  Aruspices  was  to  examine  the  beasts 
which  were  offered  in  sacrifice,  and  from  thence  to  foretel  the 
success  of  any  enterprise. 

.BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  205 

indeed  a  very  ancient  fabric,  and  though  extreme- 
ly small,  yet,  upon  a  certain  stated  anniversary,  is 
much  frequented.     On  the   13th  of  September 
great  numbers  of  people  from   all  the  country 
round.assemble  there  :  at  which  time  many  aifairs 
are  transacted,  and  many  vows  paid  and  offered ; 
but  there  is  no  shelter  for  them  against  the  incle- 
mency of  the  weather.    I  think,  therefore,  I  shall 
perform  an  act  both  of  piety  and  munificence,  if, 
at  the  same  time  that  I  build  a  beautiful  temple, 
I  add  to  it  a  spacious  portico;  the  first  for  the 
service  of  the  Goddess,  the  other  for  the  use  of 
the  people.     I  beg  you  to  purchase  for  me  four 
marble  pillars,  of  whatever  kind  you  shall  think 
proper;  as  also  a  quantity  of  marble  for  laying 
the  floor  and  incrusting  the  walls.     You  must 
•likewise  either  buy  a  statue  of  the  Goddess,  or 
procure  one  to  be  made,   for,   age  has  maimed, 
in  some  parts,   the  ancient  one  of  wood  which 
stands  there  at  present.     With  respect  to  the  por- 
tico, I  do  not  recollect  there  is  any  thing  you  can 
send  me  that  will  be  serviceable ;  unless  you  will 
sketch  me  out  a  plan  suitable  to  the  situation  of 
the  place.     It  is  not  practicable  to  build  it  round 
the  temple,   because  it  is  encompassed  on  one  side 
by  the  river,  whose  banks  are  exceedingly  steep  ; 
and  on  the  other,  by  the  high  road.     Beyond  this 
road  lies  a  very  large  meadow,  in  which  the  por- 


tico  may  be  conveniently  enough  placed,  opposite 
to  the  temple ;  unless  you,  who  know  so  well 
how  to  conquer  by  art  the  inconveniences  of  na- 
ture, can  propose  some  better  plan.  Fareweh 

To  Fuscus. 

You  are  much  pleased,  I  find,  with  the  account 
I  gave  you  in  my  former  letter/  of  the  manner  in 
which  I  spend  the  summer  season  at  Tuscumj 
and  desire  to  know  what  alteration  I  make  in  my 
method,  when  I  am  at  Laurentinum  in  the  winter  ? 
None,  except  abridging  myself  of  my  sleep  at 
noon,  and  employing  several  hours  both  before 
day  light  and  after  sun-set  in  study  :  but  if  any 
public  business  requires  my  early  attendance  at 
Rome,  (which  in  winter  very  frequently  happens) 
instead  of  having  interludes  or  music  after  supper, 
I  meditate  upon  what  I  have  previously  dictated, 
and  by  often  revising  it  in  my  own  mind,  fix  it 
the  more  strongly  in  my  memory.  Thus  I  have 
given  you  a  general  sketch  of  my  mode  of  life, 
both  in  summer  and  winter ;  to  which  you  may 
add  the  intermediate  seasons  of  spring  and  au- 
tumn :  in  these,  as  no  part  of  the  day  is  lost  in 


a  See  Lgt.  36  of  this  book,  p.  199- 

BOOK  IX.  OF  PLINY.  207 

sleep  or  dissipation,  as  in  summer,  so  some  time 
is  gained  for  business  or  study  by  the  nights  being 
shorter  than  in  winter.  Farewel. 









L  E  T  T  E 


P  L  I  N  Y, 

BOOK.  X. 


THE  pious  affection  you  bore,  most  sacred  Em« 
peror,  to  your  august  father,  induced  you  to  wish 
it  might  be  late  ere  you  succeeded  him.  But  the 


*  The  greater  part  of  the  following  letters  were  written  by 
Pliny,  dining  his  administration  in  the  province  of  Bithynia. 
They  are  of  a  style  and  character  extremely  different  from 
those  in  the  preceding  collection  ;  whence  some  critics  have 
injudiciously  inferred,  that  they  are  the  production  of  another 
hand  ;  not  consideriwg  that  the  occasion  necessarily  required 
a  different  manner.  In  letters  of  business,  as  these  chiefly  are, 
////•//  and  sentiment  would  be  foreign  and  impertinent  ;  polite- 
ness and  elegance  of  expression  being  the  essentials  that  con? 
stitute  perfection  in  this  kind  :  and  in  that  view,  though  they 
may  be  less  entertaining,  they  have  not  less  merit  than  the  for- 
mer. But  besides  their  particular  excellence  as  letters,  they  havo 
a  farther  recommendation  as  so  many  valuable  pieces  of  history, 
by  throwing  a  strong  light  upon  the  character  of  one  of  the 



immortal  Gods  thought  proper  to  hasten  the  ad- 
vancement of  those  virtues  to  the  helm  of  the 
commonwealth,  which  had  already  so  succesfully 
shared  in  the  steerage.*  May  you,  then,  and  the 
world  through  your  means,  enjoy  every  pros- 
perity worthy  of  your  reign :  to  which  let  me  add 
my  wishes,  most  excellent  Emperor,  upon  a  pri- 
vate as  well  as  public  account,  that  your  health 
and  spirits  may  be  preserved  firm  and  unbroken. 


You  have  occasioned  me,  Sir,b  an  inexpressible 
pleasure,  by  deeming  me  worthy  of  enjoying  the 


most  amiable  and  glorious  princes  in  the  Roman  annals.  Tra- 
jan appears,  throughout,  in  the  most  striking  attitude  that  a 
sovereign  can  be  placed ;  in  the  exertion  of  power  to  the 
godlike  purposes  of  justice  and  benevolence:  and  what  one  of 
the  ancient  historians  has  said  of  him,  is  here  eminently  verified, 
that  "  he  rather  c./tose  to  be  loved  than  flattered  by  his  people." 
To  have  been  distinguished  by  the  favour  and  friendship  of  a 
monarch  of  so  exalted  a  character,  is  an  honour  that  reflects 
the  brightest  lustre  upon  our  author ;  as  to  have  been  served 
and  celebrated  by  a  minister  of  Pliny's  genius  and  virtues,  is  the 
noblest  monument  of  glory  that  could  have  been  raised  to 

*  Nerva,  who  succeeded  Domitian,  reigned  but  sixteen 
months  and  a  few  days.  Before  his  death,  he  not  only  adopted 
Trajan,  and  named  him  for  his  successor,  but  actually  admitted 
him  into  a  share  of  the  government;  giving  him  the  titles  of 
6'tfAW,  Germaiticus,  and  Imperator.  Vid.  Plin.  Paneg. 

b  The  translator  has  ventured  to  render  the  appellative 
Dominus,  by  that  of  Sir,  not  because  he  is  satisfied  with  the 


BOOKX.  OF  PLINY.  213 

privilege  which  the  laws  confer  on  those  who 
have  three  children.  For,  although  it  was  from 
an  indulgence  to  the  request  of  the  very  worthy 
Servilianus,  distinguished  by  his  affectionate  at- 
tachment to  your  person,  that  you  granted  this 
favour  ;  yet  I  have  the  satisfaction  to  find,  by  the 
words  of  your  rescript,  that  you  complied  the 
more  willingly,  as  his  application  was  in  my  be- 
half. I  cannot  but  look  upon  myself  as  in  po- 
session  of  my  utmost  wish,  after  having  thus  re- 
ceived, at  the  entrance  of  your  auspicious  govern- 
ment, so  distinguishing  a  mark  of  your  peculiar 
regard ;  at  the  same  time  that  it  considerably 
heightens  my  desire  of  leaving  a  family  behind 
me.  I  was  not  entirely  without  this  desire  even 
in  the  late  most  wretched  times/ as  my  two  mar- 

strict  propriety  of  the  title,  but  as  thinking  it  less  exception- 
able than  any  other  our  language  affbrds.  That  Pliny  could 
not  intend  it  as  a  title  of  royalty,  seems  evident  from  several 
passages  in  his  panegyric,  where,  whenever  he  uses  it  in  that 
sense,  he  constantly  includes  it  in  a  notion  of  tyranny.  [Vid. 
Paneg.  XLV.  No.  4.  LV.  No.  J.  LXXXV.  No.  1.]  Accord- 
ingly, we  find  Augustus  refusing  the  title  of  Dominus,  as  con- 
veying an  odious  idea :  Ut  malediction  4*  opprobrium  semper 
fxhorrvit.  [Suet,  in  Aug.  c.  53.]  Besides,  the  high  style  of 
royalty  would  ill  suit  with  lhat  air  of  freedom  and  equality, 
which  so  remarkably  distinguishes  these  letters  of  Pliny  to 
Trajan  ;  and  the  graceful  simplicity  of  the  Roman  Consul's 
address  would  be  lost  in  the  servile  forms  of  a  modern  courtier. 
But  it  appears, from  a  passage  in  Seneca,  that  the  Romans  used 
the  word  Dominus  as  a  general  title  of  respect:  obrios,  si  n&mcn 
non  fuccvrrit,  Dominos  appcUanms. —  [Sen.  ep.  3.]  And  in  that 
lower  sense,  Pliny,  it  should  seem,  here  employs  it. 
c  Alluding  to  the  execrable  reign  of  Domitian. 

VOL.  II.  P 


riages  will  induce  you  to  believe  ;  but  the  Gods 
decreed  it  better,  by  reserving  every  valuable 
privilege  to  the  bounty  of  your  generous  dispen- 
sations. And  indeed  the  satisfaction  of  being  a 
father  will  be  so  much  the  greater  to  me  now, 
that  I  can  look  forward  to  the  enjoyment  of  that 
felicity  in  the  full  security  of  public  freedom. 


THE  experience,  most  excellent  Emperor,  I  have 
had  of  your  unbounded  generosity  to  me,  in  my 
own  person,  encourages  me  to  hope  I  may  be  yet 
farther  obliged  to  it,  in  that  of  my  friends.  Voco- 
nius  Romanus  (who  was  my  inseparable  compa- 
nion and  chamber  fellow  at  school)  claims  the 
first  rank  in  that  number;  in  consequence  of 
which  I  petitioned  your  sacred  father  to  promote 
him  to  the  dignity  of  the  senatorial  order.  But 
the  completion  of  my  request  is  reserved  to  your 
goodness ;  for  his  mother  had  not  then  advanced, 
in  the  manner  the  law  directs,  the  four  hundred 
thousand  sesterces*  which  she  engaged  to  give 


'  In  the  original  it  is  sestertii  guadrrngiatiei,  that  is,  about 
^.320,000  sterling ;  a  sura  so  immoderate,  that  the  commen- 
tators have  suspected  (and  with  great  reason)  some  error  must 
have  crept  into  the  text.  Buchnerus  and  Gronovius  imagine  it 
should  be  read  quatcfdccics  or  quadragics ;  but  this  seems  to  be 


BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  216 

him,  in  her  letter  to  the  late  Emperor  your  father : 
This  promise,  however,  by  my  advice,  she  has 
since  performed,  having-  conveyed  to  him  a  suf- 
ficient estate  in  land,  with  all  the  necessary  for- 
malities. The  difficulties  therefore  being  removed 
which  deferred  the  gratification  of  our  wishes,  it 
is  with  full  confidence  I  venture  to  assure  you  of 
the  merit  of  my  friend  Romanus,  heightened  and 
adorned  as  it  is,  not  only  by  the  liberal  and  po- 
lite arts,  but  by  his  extraordinary  tenderness  to 
his  parents.  It  is  to  that  virtue  he  owes  the  pre- 
sent liberality  of  his  mother,  as  well  as  his  im- 
mediate succession15  to  his  late  father's  estate,  and 


still  carrying  it  much  too  high.  The  census  scnatorius,  or  the 
estate  requisite  to  qualify  a  man  to  be  a  member  of  the  senate, 
was,  after  different  regulations,  settled  at  length  by  Augustus, 
at  1,200,000  sesterces,  equal  to  about  <j£.9>600  of  our  money. 
It  probably  stood  thus  in  Pliny's  time;  for  as  it  appears  by 
the  19th  letter  of  the  first  book,  that  the  census  cqvistris  was 
400,000  sesterces,  which  is  just  the  sum  we  find  it  ut  in  the 
rei^n  of  Augustus;  so  it  will  not,  perhaps,  be  unreasonable  to 
infer  from  thence,  that  the  census  scnatorius  had  not  yet  under- 
gone any  alteration  since  the  time  of  that  emperor,  as  they 
seem  to  have  borne  a  certain  proportion  to  each  other.  For 
these  reasons,  therefore,  both  the  common  reading,  and  the 
emendation  of  the  above  mentioned  critics,  is  rejected  in  the 
translation,  and  the  conjecture  of  a  late*  editor  adopted,  who 
supposes  it  might  be  quadringentorum  millivm,  400,000  ses- 
terces, or  about  *B, 3,200  of  our  money.  It  has  been  ques- 
tioned, whether  by  this  census  senatori-its  we  are  to  understand 
the  yearly  income  of  the  estate,  or  only  the  entire  value  of  it ; 
but  the  most  generally  received  opinion  is,  that  it  means  the 
latter,  including  both  real  and  personal. 

h  Meaning,  perhaps,  that  though  he  was  under  age  when  hi-; 
father  died,  yet  he  had  so  much  confidence  in  the  prudence  of 


*  Gesnerus. 
P   « 

1         M 

216  THE  LETTERS  BooKX. 

also  his  having  been  adopted  by  his  father  in- 
law.  To  these  personal  qualifications,  the  wealth 
and  rank  of  his  family  give  an  increase  of  lustre  ; 
and  I  persuade  myself  it  will  be  some  additional 
recommendation,  that  I  am  a  solicitor  in  his  be- 
half. Let  me  then  entreat  you,  Sir,  to  enable  me 
to  congratulate  Romanus,  on  so  desirable  an  oc- 
casion ;  and  at  the  same  time  to  indulge  an  earnest, 
and  I  hope  laudable  ambition,  of  having  it  in  my 
power  to  boast,  that  your  favourable  regards  are 
extended,  not  only  to  myself,  but  to  my  friend. 

LETTER  IV.   [xx]' 


VVHEN  by  your  gracious  indulgence,  Sir,  I  was 
appointed  to  preside  at  the  treasury  b  of  Saturn,  I 


Romanus,  that  he  did  not  appoint  him,  as  usual,  a  guardian  by 
his  will ;  but  left  him  to  the  immediate  possession  of  his 

3  N.  B.  The  following  letters  to  the  30th,  are  not  ranged  in 
the  same  order  as  they  are  placed  in  any  of  the  Latin  editions  ; 
the  translator  having  taken  the  liberty  of  changing  their  situa- 
tion, for  the  sake  of  bringing  some  letters  together  which 
throw  a  light  upon  each  other.  The  figures  included  between 
this  mark  [  3  refer  to  the  order  in  which  they  commonly  stand. 
k  The  public  treasure  was  kept  in  the  temple  of  Saturn, 
where  the  spoils  of  the  conquered  nations  were  deposited. 
Julius  Cajsar  seized  upon  this  temple  in  the  time  of  the  civil 
war;  and  what  an  immense  wealth  that  plunder  threw  into  his 
hands,  may  be  judged  by  the  elegant  description  which  Lucan 
gives  of  the  riches  it  contained : 

BOOKX.  OF  PLINY.  217 

immediately  renounced  all  engagements  of  the 
bar,  (as,  indeed,  I  never  blended  business  of  that 
kind  with  the  functions  of  the  state)  that  no 
avocations  might  call  off  my  attention  from  the 
duties  of  that  post  to  which  I  was  promoted. 
For  this  reason,  when  the  province  of  Africa  pe- 
titioned the  senate,  that  I  might  be  permitted  to 


tune  conditus  imo 

Eruitur  tcmplis,  multis  intactus  al  aniris 
Romani  census  populi)  $c. 

LUCAN.  iii.  155. 

At  length  the  sacred  storehouse  open  laid, 

The  hoarded  wealth  of  ages  past  display'd  : 

There  might  be  seen  the  sums  proud  Carthage  sent, 

Her  long  impending  ruin  to  prevent ; 

There  heap'd  the  Macedonian  treasures  shone, 

What  great  Flaminius  and  ./Emilius  won 

From  vanquish'd  Philip,  and  his  hapless  son. 

There  lay  what  flying  Pyrrhus  lost,  the  gold 

Scorn'd  by  the*  patriot's  honesty  of  old  ; 

Whate'er  our  parsimonious  sires  could  save: 

^  hat  tributary  gifts  rich  Syria  gave; 

The  hundred  Cretan  cities'  ample  spoil  ; 

What  Calo  gather'd  from  the  Cyprian  isle. 

Riches  of  captive  kings  by  Pompey  borne 

lu  happier  days  his  triumph  to  adorn, 

From  utmost  India,  and  the  rising  morn  ; 

Wealth  infinite!  ROWE. 

Pliny  the  elder  has  given  a  particular  valuation  of  this 
treasure  which  Czesar  seized, f  both  in  gold  and  silver  plate  and 
in  coin ;  the  amount  of  which,  according  to  Dr.  Arbuthnot's 
computation,  is, — ^.1,093.979  3s.  4d.  But  if  there  is  no 
mistake  in  these  sums,  Caesar  did  not  take  away  by  far  so  much 
as  he  brought  in  ;  for  Plutarch  relates  J,  that  he  placed  at  one 
time  in  the  treasury,  65,000  talents;  which,  according  to  the 
same  ingenious  author's  calculation,  is  equivalent  to  12,593,750 
pounds.  Arb.  Tab.  191. 

*  Fabricius.  +  Hist.  Nat.  1.  33.  c,  3.  J  In  vit,  Casar, 


THE  LETTERS          BOOK  X. 

undertake  their  cause  against  Marius  Prisons,  I 
excused  myself  from  that  office  ;  and  accordingly 
my  excuse  was  allowed.  But  when,  afterwards, 
the  consul  elect  proposed,  that  the  senate  should 
apply  to  us  again,  and  endeavour  to  prevail  with 
us  to  yield  to  its  inclinations,  and  suffer  our  names 
to  he  thrown  into  the  urn  ;*  I  thought  it  most 
suitable  to  that  tranquillity  and  good  order  which 
so  happily  distinguishes  your  times,  not  to  oppose 
(especially  in  so  reasonable  an  article)  the  will  of 
that  august  assembly.  And,  as  I  am  desirous 
that  all  my  words  and  actions  may  receive  the 
sanction  of  your  exemplary  virtue,  I  hope  you 
will  approve  of  my  compliance. 


*  Other  senators,  as  well  as  Pliny,  Lad  excused  themselves, 
it  seems,  from  undertaking  the  management  of  this  cause;  it 
\vas  proposed,  therefore,  that  they  should  cast  lots;  which  is 
the  meaning  of  "  suffering  their  names  to  be  thrown  into  au 
"  urn  ;"  an  urn  being  made  use  of  in  decisions  of  this  kind. 
Accordingly,  the  lot  fell  upon  our  author,  and  his  great  friend 
the  famous  Cornelius  Tacitus.  See  B.  2.  let.  11.  where  there 
is  a  full  account  of  this  trial. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  210. 

LETTER  V.  [xxi.] 

You  acted  as  became  a  good  citizen  and  a  wor- 
thy senator,  by  paying  obedience  to  the  just  re- 
quisition of  that  august  assembly :  and  I  have 
full  confidence  you  will  faithfully  discharge  the 
business  you  have  undertaken. 

LETTER  VI.   [iv.] 

HAVING  been  attacked  last  year  by  a  severe  and 
dangerous  illness,  I  employed  a  physician,"  whose 
care  and  diligence,  Sir,  I  cannot  sufficiently  re- 
ward, but  by  your  gracious  assistance.  I  entreat 
you,  therefore,  to  make  him  a  denizen b  of  Rome  ; 
for  as  he  is  the  freedman  of  a  foreigner,  he  is, 
consequently,  himself  also  a  foreigner.  His  name 


a  The  physicians  among  the  ancients  were  distinguished  ac- 
cording to  the  particular  branch  of  practice  to  which  they  con- 
fined themselves.  The  physician  here  mentioned,  Pliny  calls 
latralipteS)  that  is,  one  who  applied  external  unctions. 

b  There  was  a  difference  between  the  Jus  Civitatis  and  the 
Jus  Quiritium  ;  the  former  not  extending  to  the  same  privileges 
as  the  latter,  which  comprehended  whatever  advantages  a 
free  native  of  Rome  was  entitled  to  :  just  in  the  same  manner 
as  with  us  there  is  a  distinction  between  denization  and  natu- 



is  Harpocras  :  his  patroness  (who  has  been  dead 
a  considerable  timejwas  Thermuthis,  the  daugh- 
ter of  Theon.  I  farther  entreat  you  to  bestow 
the  full  privileges  of  a  Roman  citizen  upon  Helia 
and  Antonia  Harmeris  the  freed  women  of  Antonia 
Maximilla,  a  lady  of  great  merit.  It  is  at  her 
desire a  I  make  this  request. 

LETTER  VII.   [xxii.] 

1  RETURN  you  thanks,  Sir,  for  your  ready  com- 
pliance with  my  desire,  in  granting  the  complete 
privileges  of  a  Roman,  to  the  freedwomen  of  a 
lady  to  whom  I  am  allied ;  and  also  for  making 
Harpocras  my  physician  a  denizen  of  Rome. 
But  when,  agreeably  to  your  directions,  I  gave 
in  an  account  of  his  age  and  estate,  I  was  infor- 
med by  those  who  are  better  skilled  in  these  af- 
fairs than  I  pretend  to  be,  that  as  he  is  an  JEgyp- 
tian,  I  ought  to  have  previously  obtained  for  him 
the  freedom  of  Alexandria,  before  he  was  made 
free  of  Rome.  I  confess,  indeed,  that  as  I  was 
ignorant  of  any  difference  in  this  case  between 


*  Pliny  mentions  his  request  to  be  at  the  particular  desire 
of  Maximilla,  because  nothing  of  this  kind  could  legally  be 
granted  to  a  freedman,  without  the  consent  of  his  patron ;  a 
name  which  was  given  to  the  master  of  a  slave  whom  he  had 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  221 

those  of  Egypt  "and  other  countries,  I  contented 
myself  with  only  acquainting  you,  that  he  had 
been  manumized  by  a  foreign  lady,  long  since 
deceased.  However,  it  is  an  ignorance  I  cannot 
regret,  since  it  affords  me  an  opportunity  of  re- 
ceiving from  you  a  double  obligation  in  favour 
of  the  same  perspn.  That  I  may  legally  there- 
fore enjoy  the  benefit  of  your  goodness,  I  beg 
you  would  be  pleased  to  grant  him  the  freedom  of 
the  city  of  Alexandria,  as  well  as  that  of  Rome. 
And  that  your  gracious  intentions  may  not  meet 
with  any  farther  obstacles,  I  have  taken  care,  as 
you  directed,  to  send  an  account  to  yourfreedman 
of  his  age  and  possessions. , 

LETTER  VIII.   [xxiii.j 

IT  is  my  resolution,  in  pursuance  of  the  maxim 
observed  by  the  princes  my  predecessors,  to  be 
extremely  cautious  in  granting  the  freedom  of 
the  city  of  Alexandria;  however,  since  you  have 
obtained  from  me  the  freedom  of  Rome  for  your 


*  Upon  what  occasion  the  honour  of  this  pecular  distinction 
was  granted  in  favour  of  Alexandria  does  not  appear ;  possibly 
it  might  be  in  gratitude  to  a  country  to  which  the  Romans  were 
so  highly  obliged,  being  supplied  with  the  greatest  part  of  their 
corn  from  Egypt.  This  city,  founded  by  Alexander  the  Great, 
was  esteemed  the  most  considerable  in  the  world,  next  to  that 
of  Rome.  It  is  now  called  Scanderick. 


physician  Harpocras,  I  cannot  refuse  you  this 
other  request.  You  must  let  me  know  to  what 
district  he  belongs,  that  I  may  give  you  a  letter 
to  my  good  friend  Pompeius  Planta,  governor 
of  Egypt. 

LETTER  IX.  [v.J 

1  CANNOT  express,  Sir,  the  pleasure  your  letter 
gave  me,  by  which  I  am  informed  that  you  have 
made  my  physician  Harpocras  a  denizen  of 
Alexandria ;  notwithstanding  your  resolution 
to  follow  the  maxim  of  your  predecessors  in 
this  point,  by  being  extremely  cautious  in 
granting  that  privilege.  Agreeably  to  your 
directions,  I  acquaint  you  that  Harpocras  be- 
longs to  the  district  of  Memphis.1  I  entreat 
you,  then,  most  gracious  Emperor,  to  send  me, 
as  you  promised,  a  letter  to  your  good  friend 
Pompeius  Planta,  governor  of  Egypt. 

As  I  purpose  (in  order  to  have  the  earliest  en- 
joyment of  your  presence,  so  ardently  wished  for 
here)  to  go  to  meet  you,  1  beg,  Sir,  you  would 
permit  me  to  extend  my  journey  as  far  as  possible. 

a  One  of  the  four  governments  of  Lower  Egypt. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  223 

LETTER  X.   [vi.] 

IN  my  late  indisposition,  I  was  greatly  obliged, 
Sir,  to  Posthumius  Marinus,  my  physician  ;  and 
I  cannot  make  him  a  suitable  return,  but  by  the 
assistance  of  your  gracious  indulgence.  I  en- 
treat you  then  to  make  Chrysippus  Mithridates 
and  his  wife  Stratonica,  (who  are  related  to  Ma- 
rinus)  denizens  of  Rome.  I  implore  likewise 
the  same  privilege  in  favour  of  Epigonus  and 
Mithridates,  the  two  sons  of  Chrysippus ;  but 
with  this  restriction,4  that  they  may  remain  under 
the  dominion  of  their  father,  and  yet  preserve 
their  right  of  patronage  over  their  own  freedmen. 
I  farther  entreat  you  to  grant  the  full  privileges 


*  The  extensive  power  of  paternal  authority,  was, (as  has  been 
observed  in  the  notes  above)  peculiar  to  the  Romans ;  but  after 
Chrysippus  was  made  a  denizen  of  Rome,  he  was  not,  it  should 
seem,  consequentially  entitled  to  that  privilege  over  those  chil- 
dren which  were  born  before  his  denization.  On  the  other  hand, 
if  it  was  expressly  granted  him,  his  children  could  not  preserve 
their  right  of  patronage  over  their  own  freedmen,  because  that 
right  would  of  course  devolve  to  their  father,  by  means  of  this 
acquired  dominion  over  them  The  denization  therefore  of  his 
children,  is  as  expressly  solicited  as  his  own.  But  both  parties 
becoming  Quirites,  the  children  by  this  creation,  and  not  plea- 
ding in  right  of  their  father,  would  be  pat  res  fam.  To  prevent 
which,  the  clause  is  added,  ita  ut  sint  in  patris  potcstate  ;  as 
there  is  another  to  save  to  them  their  rights  of  patronage  over 
their  freedmen,  though  they  were  reduced  in  patriam  potestatem^ 


of  a  Roman  citizen  to  L.  Satrius  Abascantius, 
P.  Caesius  Phosphorus,  and  Pancharia  Soteris. 
This  request  I  make  with  the  consent  of  their 

LETTER  XL    [xxiv.] 

AFTER  your  late  sacred  father,  Sir,  had,  in  a 
noble  speech  as  well  as  by  his  own  generous  ex- 
ample, exhorted  and  encouraged  the  public  to 
acts  of  munificence,  I  implored  his  permission 
to  remove  the  several  statues  which  I  had  of  the 
former  emperors,  to  my  corporation  ;a  and  at  the 
same  time  requested  the  liberty  of  adding  his  own 
to  the  number.  For  as  I  had  hitherto  continued 
them  in  the  respective  places  wherein  they  stood 
when  they  came  into" my  possession  by  several  dif- 
ferent inheritances,  they  were  dispersedjin  distant 
partsof  my  estate.  He  was  pleased  to  grantmy  re- 
quest, and  at  the  same  time  to  give  me  a  very 
ample  testimony  of  his  approbation.  I  imme- 
diately therefore  wrote  to  the  Decurii,  to  desire 
they  would  allot  a  piece  of  ground,  upon  which 

I  might 

'  It  is  highly  probable,  upon  comparing  Let.  4.  B.  3.  and  Let. 
1.  B.  4.  that,  by  the  corporation  here  mentioned,  Pliny  means 
Tifernun  Tiberinum,  or  Ci&a  di  Castclla,  as  it  is  now  called : 
winch  cky  had  put  itself  under  his  patronage  and  protection. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  225 

I  might  erect  a  temple  at  my  own  expence ;  and 
they,  as  a  mark  of  their  honouring  my  design,  offer- 
ed me  the  choice  of  any  site  I  should  think  proper. 
However,  my  own  indisposition,  in  the  first  place, 
and  afterward  that  of  your  father,  together  with 
the  duties  of  that  employment  with  which  you 
were  both  pleased  to  entrust  me,  prevented  me 
from  executing  my  intention.      But  I  have  now, 
I   think,   a   convenient    opportunity  of  making 
an  excursion   for  that  purpose,  as  my  monthly 
attendance15  ends  on  the  first  of  September,    and 
there  are  several  festivals  in  the  month  following. 
My  first  petition  therefore  is,  that  you  would  per- 
mit me  to  adorn  with  your  statue  the  temple  I  am 
going  to  raise ;  and  the  next,  (in  order  to  the 
carrying  on  of  my  design  with  all  possible  ex- 
pedition) that   you  would  indulge  me  with  leave 
of  absence.      It  would  ill  become  the  sincerity  I 
profess,  were  I  to  dissemble  that,  your  goodness, 
in  complying  with  this  desire,   will  at  the  same 
time  be  extremely  serviceable  to  me  in  my  own 
private  affairs.   It  is  absolutely  necessary  I  should 
not  defer  any  longer  the  letting  of  my  lands  in 
that  province,  for,   besides  that  they  amount  to 
above  four  hundred  thousand  sesterces/  the  sea- 

k  Pliny  enjoyed  the  office  of  treasurer  in  conjunction  with 
Cornutus  Tertullus.  It  was  the  custom  at  Rome  for  those  who 
had  colleagues  to  administer  the  duties  of  their  posts  by  month- 
ly turns.  Buchnerus. 

c  About  3,COOl.  sterling;  the  annual  income  of  Pliny's  estate 

226  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  X. 

son  for  dressing  the  vineyards  is  approaching, 
and  that  business  must  fall  upon  my  new  tenants. 
The  badness  of  the  weather  likewise,  for  several 
years  past,  obliges  me  to  think  of  making  some 
abatements  in  my  rents;  which  I  cannot  possibly 
settle  unless  I  am  present.  I  shall  be  indebted 
then  to  your  indulgence,  Sir,  both  as  forwarding 
this  public  act  of  piety,  and  giving  me  the  oppor- 
tunity of  settling  my  private  affairs,  if  you  will 
be  pleased  to  grant  med  leave  to  be  absent  for 
thirty  days.  I  cannot  limit  a  shorter  time,  as  the 
town  and  the  estate  of  which  I  am  speaking,  lie 
above  an  hundred  and  fifty  miles  from  Rome. 

LETTER  XII.   [xxv.] 

You  have  given  me  many  reasons  both  of  a 
public  and  private  nature,  why  you  request  leave 


in  Tuscany.  He  mentions  another  "near  Comum  in  the  duchy  of 
Milan,  the  yearly  value  of  which  does  not  appear.  We  find 
him  likewise  considering  about  the  purchase  of  an  estate,  for 
which  he  was  to  give  about  24,0001.  of  our  money;  but  whether 
he  ever  completed  that  purchase,  is  uncertain.  [See  B.  3.  Let. 
19-]  This,  however,  we  are  sure  of,  that  his  fortunes  were  but 
moderate,  considering  his  high  station  and  necessary  expences  : 
[See  B.  2.  Let.  4.]  and  yet,  by  the  advantage  of  a  judicious 
ceconomy,  we  have  seen  him  in  the  course  of  these  letters,  ex- 
ercising a  liberality,  of  which  after-ages  have  furnished  no  pa- 

d  The  senators  were  not  allowed  to  go  from  Rome  into  the 
provinces, without  having  first  obtained  leave  of  the  Emperor.  Si- 
cily, however,  had  the  privilege  to  be  excepted  out  of  that  law,  as 
Gallia  Narbonensis  afterwards  was,  by  Claudius  Caesar.  Tacit. 
Ann.  12.  c.  23. 


of  absence  ;  but  I  need  no  other  than  that  it  is 
your  desire  :  and  I  doubt  not  of  your  returning 
as  soon  as  possible  to  the  duty  of  an  office, 
which  so  much  requires  your  attendance.  As  I 
would  not  seem  to  check  any  instance  of  your 
affection  towards  me,  I  shall  not  oppose  your 
erecting  my  statue  in  the  place  you  mention ; 
though,  in  general,  I  am  extremely  cautious  in 
giving  any  encouragement  to  honours  of  that 

LETTER   XIII.    [viii.] 

As  I  am  sensible,  Sir,  that  the  highest  praise  my 
actions  can  receive,  is  to  be  distinguished  by  so 
excellent  a  prince ;  I  beg  you  would  be  graci- 
ously pleased  to  add  either  the  office  of  Augur  or 
Septemvir*  (both  which  are  now  vacant)  to  the 
dignity  I  already  enjoy  by  your  indulgence ;  that 
I  may  have  the  satisfaction  of  publicly  offering 
up  those  vows  for  your  prosperity,  from  the  duty 
of  my  office,  which  I  daily  prefer  to  the  Gods 
in  private,  from  the  affection  of  my  heart 


»  One  of  the  seven  priests  who  presided  over  the  feasts  ap- 
pointed in  honour  of  Jupiter  and  the  other  Gods  :  an  office,  as 
appears,  of  high  dignity,  since  Pliny  ranks  it  with  the  Augur- 
ship  :  of  which  see  B.  4.  Let.  8  note  *. 



LETTER   XIV.   [xxvi.] 

HAVING  safely  passed  the  promontory  of  Ma- 
lea, b  I  am  arrived  at  Ephesus0  with  all  my  train, 
notwithstanding  I  was  detained  for  some  time  by 
contrary  winds  :  an  information,  Sir,  in  which,  I 
trust,  you  will  think  yourself  concerned.  I  de- 
sign to  pursue  the  remainder  of  my  journey  to 
the  province/1  partly  in  light  vessels,  and  partly 
in  post-chaises  :  for,  as  the  extreme  heats  will 
prevent  my  travelling  altogether  hy  land,  so  the 
Etesian"  winds,  which  are  now  set  in,  will  not  per- 
mit me  to  proceed  entirely  hy  sea., 


b  In  the  Peloponnesus  ;  now  called  Capo  Malea  di-sant-An- 
gelo.  Catanceus  observes,  this  passage  was  so  dangerous,  that 
the  ancients  had  a  proverb,  cum  Maleam  deftexcris,  domesticos 
obliviscere  ;  "  the  man  that  sails  by  Malea  must  think  no  more 
*'  of  his  family." 

c  A  city  of  Ionia,  in  Asia  the  less,  still  remaining. 

d  Bithynia,  a  province  in  Anatolia,  or  Asia  the  less,  of  which 
Pliny  was  appointed  governor  by  Trajan ,n  the  bth  year  of  his 
reign,  A.  D.  103.  not  as  an  ordinary  Proconsul,  but  as  that  Em- 
peror's own  Lieutenant,  with  extraordinary  powers.  [See  Dio.] 
the  following  letters  were  written  during  his  administration  o* 
that  province. 

"  A  north  wind  in  the  Grecian  seas,  which  rises  yearly  some 
time  in  July,  and  continues  to  the  end  of  August ;  though  others 
extend  it  to  the  middle  of  September.  They  blow  only  in  the 
day-time.  Varenius's  Geogr.  v.  i.  p.  513. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  229 

LETTER  XV.   [xxvii.] 

i  OUR  information,  my  clear  Pliny,  was  very  ac- 
ceptable to  me  ;  as  it  is  much  my  concern  to 
know  in  what  manner  you  arrive  at  your  province. 
I  well  approve  of  your  intention  to  travel  either 
by  sea  or  land,  as  you  shall  lind  most  convenient. 

LETTER    XVI.  [xxviii.] 

As  I  had  a  very  favourable  voyage  to  Ephesus, 
so,  in  travelling  post  from  thence,  I  was  extremely 
incommoded  by  the  heats,  which  occasioned  a 
fever,  and  detained  me  some  time  at  Pergamuma. 
From  thence,  Sir,  I  took  ship  again;  but  being 
delayed  by  contrary  winds,  I  did  not  arrive 
at  Bithynia  so  soon  as  I  hopedb.  However, 
I  have  no  reason  to  complain  of  this  delay,  since 


1  The  famous  Troy,  situated  in  that  part  of  Asia,  which  is  now 
called  Romania. 

The  original  adds,  id  est,xv.  Calcnd.  Octobris, which  seems  to 
have  crept  into  the  text  from  the  marginal  an.iotation  of  some 
glossarist :  for  as  Piiny  mentions  the  time  of  his  arrival  a  little 
lower,  there  is  no  occasion  for  it  in  this  place  ;  and  it  is  not  a- 
greeable  to  his  usual  elegant  conciseness,  to  repeat  that  circum- 
stance twice  in  the  same  letter.  Or  perhaps  here  are  two  distinct 
letters  run  into  one,  by  the  carelessness  o!  the  transcribers  ;  the 
former  ending  with  Hccc.  &c.  in  ipso  ingrcssu  mco  scripsi ;  th« 
latter  beginning  with  Quintodccimo  Cuknd.  #c. 

VOL.    II.  Q 


it  did  not  prevent  me  from  reaching  the  province 
in  time  to  celebrate  your  birth-day :  a  circum- 
stance which  I  consider  as  the  most  auspicious 
that  could  attend  me.  I  am  at  present  engaged 
in  examining'  the  finances  of  the  Prusenses0, 
their  disbursements  and  credits;  and  the  farther 
I  proceed  in  this  affair,  the  more  I  am  convinced 
of  the  necessity  of  my  enquiry.  Several  consi- 
derable sums  of  money  are  owing  to  the  city  from 
private  persons,  which  they  neglect  to  pay  upon 
various  pretences ;  as,  on  the  other  hand,  I  find 
the  public  funds  are,  in  some  instances,  very  un- 
warrantably applied.  This,  Sir,  I  write  to  you 
immediately  on  my  arrival.  I  entered  this  pro- 
vince on  the  17th  of  September11,  and  found  it  in 
those  sentiments  of  obedience  and  loyalty,  which 
you  justly  merit  from  all  mankind.  You  will 
consider,  Sir,  whether  it  would  not  be  proper  to 
send  hither  a  surveyor;  for  I  am  inclined  to  think, 
much  might  be  deducted  from  what  is  charged  by 
those  who  have  the  conduct  of  the  public  works, 
if  a  faithful  admeasurement  were  t6  be  taken;  at 
least  I  am  of  that  opinion  from  what  I  have  al- 
ready seen  of  the  accounts  of  this  city,  which  I 
am  now  examining,  with  the  assistance  of  Max- 



1  Piusa,  a  maritime  city  in  Bilhynia,  supposed  by  some 
geographers  to  he  the  same  which  is  now  culled  Cheris  ;  famous 
lur  producing  great  quantities  of  cherries,  which  take  their  name 
frvin  thence. 

*  In  the  Gih  year  of  Train's  reign,  A:  D.  103.  and  the  41st 


BOOKX.  OF  PLINY.  231 

LETTER  XVII.    [xxix] 

I  SHOULD  have  rejoiced  to  have  heard  that  you 
arrived  at  Bithynia  without  inconvenience  to 
yourself  or  any  of  your  train ;  and  that  your 
journey  from  Ephesus  had  been  as  easy,  as  your 
voyage  to  that  place  was  favourable.  For  the 
rest,  your  letter  informs  me,  my  dear  Pliny,  what 
day  you  reached  Bithynia.  The  people  of  that 
province  will  be  convinced,,  I  persuade  myself, 
that  I  am  attentive  to  their  interest ;  as  your 
conduct  towards  them  will  make  it  manifest,  that 
I  could  have  chosen  no  person  more  proper  to  sup- 
ply my  place.  Your  first  enquiry  ought,  no 
doubt,  to  turn  upon  the  state  of  the  public 
finances  ;  for,  it  is  but  too  evident  they  have  been 
mismanaged.  I  have  scarce  surveyors  sufficient 
to  inspect  those  works  which  I  am  carrying  on 
at  Romea,  and  in  the  neighbourhood ;  but  per- 
sons of  integrity  and  skill  in  this  art  may  be 
found,  most  certainly,  in  every  province;  so  that 
you  cannot  be  at  a  loss  in  that  article,  if  you  will 

make  due  enquiry. 


of  our  author's  age :  he  continued  in  this  province  about  18 
months.  Vid.  Mass,  in  vit.  Plin.  129. 

a  Among  other  noble  works  which  this  glorious  Emperor  ex- 
ecuted ;    the  ibium,  or  square,  which  went  by  khis  name,   seems 

Q  2 

23':  THE  LETTERS         BOOK  X. 

LETTER  XVIII.   [vii.] 

1  HOUGH  I  am  well  assured,  Sir,  that  you,  who 
never  omit  any  opportunity  of  exercising  your 
generosity,  are  not  unmindful  of  the  request  I 
lately  made  you ;  yet  since  you!  have  frequently, 
among  many  other  instances  of  your  indulgence, 
permitted  me  to  repeat  my  solicitations,  I  renew 
them  now  on  behalf  of  Achius  Sura;  and  ear- 
nestly beseech  you  to  honour  him  with  the  prae- 
torship,  which  is  become  vacant.  Though  his 
ambition  is  extremely  moderate,  yet  the  quality  of 
his  birth,  the  inflexible  integrity  lie  has  preserved 
in  a  very  narrow  fortune,  and,  more  than  all,  the 
felicity  of  your  times,  which  encourages  conscious 
virtue  to  claim  your  favour,  induce  him  to  hope 
he  may  experience  it  in  the  present  instance. 


to  have  been  the  most  magnificent.  It  was  built  with  the  foreign 
spoils  he  had  taken  in  war.  The  covering  was  entirely  brass,  the 
porticos  exceedingly  beautiful,  and  the  pillars  of  more  than  or- 
dinary height  and  dimensions.  In  the  centre  of  this  forum  was 
erected  the  famous  pillar  which  has  been  already  described.  See 
B.  8.  Let.  4.  note  a. 


LETTER  XIX.    [ix]. 

I  CONGRATULATE  both  you  and  thepublic,  most 
excellent  emperor,  upon  the  great  and  glorious 
victory  you  have  obtained  ;  so  agreeable  to  the 
heroism  of  ancient  Rome.  May  the  immortal 
Gods  give  the  same  happy  success  to  all  your  de- 
signs, that,  under  the  administration  of  so  many 

fj  T  f  *• 

princely  virtues,  the  splendour  of  the  empire  may 
shine  out,  not  only  in  all  its  former,  but  with  ad- 
ditional lustre". 

LETTER  XX.  [x.] 

MY  lieutenant  Servilius  Pudens,  came  to  Nico- 
mediah,  Sir,  on  the  24th  of  November  ;  and  by 
his  arrival  freed  me,  at  last,  from  the  anxiety  of 

a  very  tedious  expectation. 


a  It  is  probable  the  victory  here  alluded  to  was  that  famous 
one  which  Trajan  gained  over  the  Dacians  :  some  account  of 
which  has  been  given  in  the  notes  above.  It  is  certain,  at  least, 
Pliny  lived  to  see  his  wish  accomplished  ;  this  emperor  having 
carried  the  Roman  splendour  to  its  highest  pitch,  and  extended 
the  dominions  of  the  empi  re  farther  than  any  of  his  predecessors  : 
after  his  death  it  began  to  decline. 

fc  Now  called  Comedia,  the  capital  city  of  Bithynia. 

234  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  X, 

LETTER  XXL   [xi.] 

YOUR  generosity  to  me,  Sir,  was  the  occasion  of 
my  being  connected  with  Roslanus  Geminus,  by 
the  strongest  ties ;  for  he  was  my  quaestor0  when 
I  was  consul.  His  behaviour  to  me,  during  the 
continuance  of  our  offices,  was  highly  respectful ; 
and  he  has  treated  me  ever  since  with  so  peculiar 
a  regard,  that,  besides  the  many  obligations  I  owe 
him  upon  a  public  account,  I  am  indebted  to  him 
for  the  strongest  pledges  of  private  friendship. 
I  entreat  you  then  to  comply  with  my  request 
for  the  advancement  of  a  worthy  man,  whom  (if 
my  recommendation  has  any  weight)  you  will 
even  distinguish  by  your  particular  favour;  and 
whatever  trust  you  shall  repose  in  him,  he  will 
endeavour  to  prove  himself  deserving  of  a  still 
higher.  But  I  forbear  to  enter  into  a  more  par- 
ticular detail  of  his  merit ;  being  persuaded,  that 
his  integrity,  his  probity,  and  his  vigilance  are 
well  known  to  you,  not  only  from  those  high  posts 
which  he  has  exercised  in  Rome  within  your  im- 
mediate inspection,  but  from  his  behaviour  whe,n 


e  See  vol.  i.  p.  228,  note  * 


he  served  under  you  in  the  army.  One  thing, 
however,  my  affection  for  him  inclines  me  to 
think  I  have  not  yet  sufficiently  performed;  and, 
therefore,  Sir,  I  repeat  my  entreaties  that  you  will 
give  me  the  pleasure,  as  early  as  possible,  of  re~ 
joicing  in  the  advancement  of  my  qua3stor ;  or,  irj 
other  words,  of  receiving  an  addition  to  my  own 
honours  in  the  person  of  my  friend. 

LETTER  XXII.  [xii.] 


I  KNOW  not,  Sir,  in  what  words  sufficiently  to 
express  the  joy  I  received,  when  I  heard  you 
had,  in  compliance  with  the  request  of  my  mo- 
ther-in-law^ and  myself,  granted  Coelius  Clemens 
the  proconsulship  of  this  provinceb  after  the  ex- 
piration of  his  consular  office  ;  as  it  is  a  proof 
that  your  beneficence  towards  me  graciously  ex- 
tends itself  through  my  whole  family.  As  I  dare 
not  pretend  to  make  an  equal  return  to  those 
obligations  I  so  justly  owe  you,  I  can  only  have 
recourse  to  vows  :  and  ardently  implore  the  Gods 


a  Pompeia  Celerina, 
fc  Bitbynia. 


S36  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  X. 

that  I  may  not  be  found  unworthy  of  those  fa- 
vours, which  you  are  repeatedly  conferring  upon 

LETTER  XXIII.  [xiii.] 

I  RECEIVED,  Sir,  a  dispatch  from  your  freed- 
man  Lycormas,  desiring  me,  if  any  embassy 
from  Bosphorus*,  should  come  hither  in  the  way 
to  Rome;  that  I  would  detain  it  till  his  arri- 
val. None  has  yet  arrived  ;  at  least  in  the  cityb 
where  I  now  am.  But  a  courier  passing  through 
this  place  from  the  king  ofSarmatiac,  I  embrace 
the  opportunity  which  accidentally  offers  itself, 
of  sending  with  him  the  messenger  which  Ly- 
cormas dispatched  hither ;  that  you  might  be  in- 
formed at  once,  by  his  letter  and  the  king's,  of 
certain  circumstances  which  it  may  be  expedient, 
perhaps,  that  they  should  come  to  your  knowledge 
at  the  same  time. 


*  BosphorusCimerius,  now  called  Vospero,  in  Krim  Tartary. 

b  Nicea,  (as  appears  by  the  15th  Let.  of  this  Book,)  a  city  in 
Bkhynia  now  called  Ismich. 

e  Sarmatia  was  divided  into  European,  Asiatic,  and  German 
Sarmatia.  It  is  not  exactly  known  what  bounds  the  ancients  gave 
to  this  extensive  region  ;  however,  in  general,  it  comprehended 
the  Northern  parts  of  Russia,  Muscovy,  Lesser  Tartary,  and 
the  greatest  part  of  the  kingdom  of  Poland,  &c. 

BOOKX.  OF  PLINY.  237 

LETTER  XXIV.  [xiv.] 

I  AM  informed,  by  a  letter  from  the  king  of  Sar- 
matia,  that  some  affairs  have  happened,  of  which 
it  is  requisiteyou  should  he  immediately  acquaint- 
ed. In  order  therefore  to  expedite  the  dispatches 
•which  his  courier  was  charged  with  to  you,  I 
granted  him  a  warrant  to  make  use  of  the  public 


*  The  first  invention  of  public  couriers  is  ascribed  to  Cyrus, 
who,  in  order  to  receive  the  earliest  intelligence  from  the  gover- 
nors of  the  several  provinces*,  erected  post-houses  throughout 
the  kingdom  of  Persia,  at  equal  distances,  which  supplied  men 
and  horses  to  forward  the  public  dispatches.  Augustust  was 
the  first  who  introduced  this  most  useful  institution  among  the 
Romans,  by  employing  post-chaises,  disposed  at  convenient  dis- 
tances, for  the  purpose  of  political  intelligence.  The  magistrates 
of  every  city  were  obliged  to  furnish]:  horses  for  these  messengers, 
upon  producing  a  diploma,  or  a  kind  of  warrant,  either  from  the 
Emperor  himself,  or  from  those  who  h«d  that  authority  under 
him.  Sometimes,  though  upon  very  extraordinary  occasions, 
persons  who  travelled  upon  their  private  affairs,  were  allowed 
to  avail  themselves  of  the^e  post-chaises.  [See  Let.  121  of  this 
Book.]  It  is  surprising  they  were  not  sooner  used  for  the  pur. 
poses  of  commerce  and  private  communication.  Louis  XI.  first 
established  them  in  France,  in  the  year  147-i;  but  it  was  not 
till  the  12th  of  Car.  II.  ||  that  the  post-office  was  settled  in  En- 
gland by  act  of  Parliament. 

*  Cyrop  I.  8.  p,  496.  edit  Hutchiiuoa. 

tSuet.  in  vit.  Aug.  c.  49. 
+  Plutarch,  in  vit.  Oalbw. 
H  Rapin,  vol.  2.  l>6.\  luL  ed. 

238  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  X. 

LETTER  XXV.  [xv.] 

THE  ambassador  from  the  king  of  Sarmatia 
having  remained  two  days,  by  his  own  choice,  at 
Nicea,  Avhere  he  found  me,  I  did  not  think  it 
reasonable,  Sir,  to  detain  him  any  longer;  not 
only  because  it  was  still  uncertain  when  your 
freedman  Lycormas  would  arrive,  but  as  some  in- 
dispensible  affairs  require  my  presence  in  a  differ- 
ent part  of  the  province.  Of  this  circumstance 
I  thought  it  necessary  thatyou  should  be  inform- 
ed, because  I  lately  acquainted  you  in  a  letter, 
that  Lycormas  had  desired,  if  an  embassy  should 
come  this  way,  from  Bosphorus,  that  I  would  de- 
tain it  till  his  arrival.  But  I  did  not  see  there  was 
any  pretence  of  retarding  him  any  longer ;  es- 
pecially as  the  dispatches  from  Lycormas,  which 
(as  I  have  already  mentioned)  I  was  not  willing 
to  detain,  would  probably  reach  you  some  days 
sooner  than  this  ambassador. 


BOOK  X,  OF  PLINY.  339 

LETTER  XX VI.  [xvi.] 

I  RECEIVED  a  letter,  Sir,  from  Apuleius,  an 
officer  in  the  troops  stationed  at  Nicomedia,  in- 
forming me  that  one  Callidromus  being  arrested 
by  Maxim  life  and  Dionysius,  (two  bakers,  to 
whom  he  had  hired  himself)  fled  for  refuge  to  your 
statuea ;  that  being  brought  before  a  magistrate, 
he  declared  he  was  formerly  slave  to  Laberius 
Maximus  ;  but  being  taken  prisoner  by  Susagusb 
in  Moesia0,  he  was  sent  as  a  present  from  Dece- 
balus  to  Pacorus,  king  of  Parthia,  in  whose  ser- 
vice he  continued  several  years,  from  whence  he 
made  his  escape,  and  came  to  Nicomedia.  When 
he  was  examined  before  me,  he  confirmed  this  ac- 
count ;  for  which  reason  I  thought  it  necessary 


a  Particular  temples,  altars,  and  statues  were  allowed  among 
the  Romans  as  places  of  sanctuary  to  slaves,  debtors,  and  ma- 
lefactors. This  custom  was  introduced  by  Romulus,  who  bor- 
rowed it  probably  from  the  Greeks:  but  during  the  free  state  of 
Rome,  few  of  these  asylums  were  permitted.  This  custom  pre- 
vailed most  under  the  Emperors,  til!  it  grew  so  scandalous,  that 
the  Emperor  Pius  found  it  necessary  to  restrain  those  privileged 
places  by  an  edict.  See  Lipsii  excur:-.  ad  Taciti  Ann.  3.  c.  56. 

b  General  under  Decebalus. 

c  A  province  in  Dacia,  comprehending  the  southern  parts  o( 
£eryia  and  part  of  Bulgaria. 


to  send  him  to  you.d  I  should  have  sent  him  sooner, 
but  I  deferred  hisjourney,  in  order  to  make  an  en- 
quiry concerning  a  gem  which  he  said  was  taken 
from  him,  upon  which  was  engraven  the  figure  of 
Pacorus  in  his  royal  habit :  I  was  desirous  (if  it 
could  have  been  found)  of  transmitting  this  curio- 
sity to  you,  with  a  small  ingot  of  Parthian  gold, 
which  he  says  he  brought  from  thence  out  of  the 
mines,  I  have  fixed  my  seal  to  it,  the  impression 
of  which  is,  a  chariot  drawn  by  four  horses. 

LETTER  XXVII.  [xvii.] 


You  R  freedman  and  procurator,  Maximuse,  be- 
haved, Sir,  during  all  the  time  we  were  together, 
with  great  probity,  attention,  and  diligence ;  as 
one  strongly  attached  to  your  interest,  and  strictly 
observant  of  discipline.  This  testimony  I  very 
willingly  give  him  :  and  I  give  it  with  all  the  fi- 
delity I  owe  to  you. 


d  The  second  expedition  of  Trajan  against  Decebalus  was 
undertaken  the  same  year  that  Pliny  went  governor  into  this 
province  :  the  reason  therefore  why  Pliny  sent  this  Callidromus 
to  the  Emperor,  seems  to  be,  that  some  use  might  possibly  be 
made  of  him  in  favour  of  that  design. 

f  Receiver  of  the  finances. 

OF  PLINY.  24J 

LETTER  XXVIII.  [xviii.] 

AFTER  having  experienced,  Sir,  in  Gabius  Bas- 
sus,  who  commands  on  the  frontiers  of  Pontica*, 
the  greatest  integrity,  honour,  and  diligence,  as 

o  o        *••  •*  o 

well  as  the  most  particular  respect  to  myself,  I 
cannot  refuse  him  my  best  wishes  and  suffrage  ; 
and  I  give  them  to  him  with  all  that  fidelity  which 
is  due  to  you.  I  have  found  him  abundantly  qua- 
lified by  having  served  in  the  army  under  you  ; 
and  it  is  owing  to  the  advantages  of  your  disci- 
pline, that  he  has  learned  to  merit  the  honour  of 
your  approbation.  The  military  and  the  people 
here,  who  have  had  abundant  experience  of  his 
justice  and  humanity,  rival  each  other  in  that 
glorious  testimony  they  give  of  his  conduct  both 
public  and  private  :  and  I  certify  this  with  all  the 
sincerity  you  have  a  right  to  expect  from  me. 


a  Krira  Tartary. 

242  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  X, 

LETTER  XXIX.  [xix.] 

NYMPHIDIUS  Lupus3,  Sir,  served  with  me  in 
the  army.  lie  commanded  a  body  of  the  auxili- 
ary forces  at  the  same  time  that  I  was  military 
tribune  ;  and  it  was  from  that  connexion  my  af- 
fection for  him  began.  A  long  acquaintance  hath 
since  mutually  endeared  and  strengthened  our 
friendship.  For  this  reason  I  did  violence  to  his 
repose,  and  insisted  upon  his  attending  me  into 
Bithynia,  as  my  assessor  in  council.  He  most 
readily  granted  me  this  proof  of  his  amity ;  and 
without  any  regard  to  the  plea  of  age,  or  of  re- 
tirement, he  shared,  and  continues  to  share,  with 
me,  the  fatigue  of  public  business.  I  consider  his 
relations  therefore  as  my  own  ;  in  which  number, 
Nymphidius  Lupus,  his  son,  claims  my  particu- 
lar notice.  He  is  a  youth  of  great  merit  and  in- 
defatigable application  :  and,  in  every  view  of  his 
character,  well  worthy  of  so  excellent  a  father. 
The  early  proof  he  gave  of  his  merit,  when  he 


*  The  text  calls  him  Prtmipilarcm,\\\^,\.  is,one  who  had  been  Pri- 
mifilus,  an  officer  in  the  army,  whose  post  was  both  highly  ho- 
nourable and  profitable  :  among  other  parts  of  his  office  he  had 
the  care  of  the  Eagle,  or  chief  standard  of  the  legion. 


BOOK,  X.  OF  PLINY.  243 

commanded  a  regiment  of  foot,  is  a  proof  that 
he  is  equal  to  any  honour  you  shall  think  proper 
to  confer  upon  him ;  and  it  gained  him  the  strong- 
est testimony  of  approbation  from  those  most 
illustrious  personages  Julius  Ferox,  and  Fuscus 
Salinator.  I  will  add,  Sir,  that  I  shall  rejoice  in 
any  increase  of  dignity  which  he  shall  receive,  as 
an  occasion  of  particular  satisfaction  to  myself. 


I  REQUEST  your  determination,  Sir,  in  a  point 
wherein  I  am  greatly  doubtful :  it  is,  whether  I 
should  place  the  public  slaves3  as  centinels  round 
the  prisons  of  the  several  cities  in  this  province 
(as  has  been  hitherto  the  practice)  or  employ  a 
party  of  soldiers  for  that  purpose  ?  On  the  one- 
hand,  I  am  afraid  the  public  slaves  will  not  attend 
this  duty  with  the  fidelity  they  ought;  and  on 
the  other,  that  it  will  engage  too  large  a  body  of 
the  soldiery  :  in  the  mean  while,  I  have  joined  a 
few  of  the  latter  with  the  former.  I  am  apprehen- 
sive, however,  there  may  be  some  danger  that  this 
method  will  occasion  a  general  neglect  of  duty. 


4  Slaves  who  were  purchased  by  the  public. 

244  THE  LETTERS  BooKX. 

as  it  will  afford  them  a  mutual  pretence  of  throw- 
ing the  blame  upon  each  other. 


THERE  is  no  occasion,  my  dear  Pliny,  to  draw 
off  any  soldiers*  in  order  to  guard  the  prisons. 
Let  us  rather  persevere  in  the  ancient  custom  ob- 
served in  this  province,  of  employing  the  public 
slaves  for  that  purpose:  the  fidelity  with  which 
they  shall  execute  their  duty  will  depend  much 
upon  your  care  and  strict  discipline.  It  is  greatly 
to  be  feared,  as  you  observe,  if  the  soldiers  should 
be  mixed  with  the  public  slaves,  they  will  mu- 
tually trust  to  each  other,  and  by  that  means  grow 
so  much  the  more  negligent.  But  my  principal 
objection  is,  that  as  few  soldiers  as  possible  should 

be  withdrawn  from  their  standard. 


In  the  original  it  is  Commiiilonrs,  "my  fellow  soldiers  :"  an 
appellation  which  those  emperors  who  desired  to  be  well  with  the 
army  affected  to  use.  Suetonius  informs  us,  that  Augustus 
would  never  employ  that  expression, as  thinking  it  a  condescension 
unbecoming  his  dignity ;  and  neither  suitable  to  the  tranquillity 
•f  the  times,  nor  to  military  discipline. 




GAB  i  us  BASS  us,  who  commands  upon  the 
frontiers  of  Pontica,  in  a  manner  suitable  to  the 
respect  and  duty  which  he  owes  you,  has  been 
with  me,  Sir,  for  several  days.  As  far  as  I  could 
observe,  he  is  a  person  of  great  merit,  and  wor- 
thy of  your  favour.  I  acquainted  him  with  your 
order  that  he  should  be  contented  with  ten  be- 
neficiary soldiers/  two  horse-guards,  and  one 
captain,  out  of  the  troops  which  you  were  pleased 
to  assign  to  my  command.  He  assured  me  those 
would  not  be  sufficient,  and  that  he  would  write 
to  you  accordingly  ;  for  which  reason  I  thought 
it  proper  not  immediately  to  recall  his  supernu- 


a  The  most  probable  conjecture  (for  it  is  a  point  of  a  good 
deal  of  obscurity)  concerning  the  Betieficiani,  seems  to  be, 
that  they  were  a  certain  number  of  soldiers  exempted  from  the 
Usual  duty  of  their  office,  in  order  to  be  employed  as  a  sort  of 
body-guards  to  the  general.  These  were  probably  foot,  as  the 
EquiteS)  here  mentioned,  were  perhaps  of  the  same  nature,  only 
that  they  served  on  horseback.  Equites  shigulares  (Jcesaris,  Au~ 
gusti.  fyc.  are  frequently  met  with  upon  ancient  inscriptions,  and 
are  generally  supposed  to  mean  the  body-guards  of  the  emperor. 

VOL.  II.  R 

4(*  '  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  X. 


1  HAVE  received,  from  Gabius  Bassus,  the  letter 
you  mention,  acquainting*  me,  that  the  number 
of  soldiers  I  had  ordered  him  was  not  sufficient : 
and  for  your  information  I  have  directed  my  an- 
swer to  be  hereunto  annexed.  It  is  very  material 
to  distinguish  between  what  the  exigency  of  af- 
fairs requires,  and  what  an  ambitious  desire  of 
power  may  think  necessary.  As  for  ourselves, 
the  interest  of  the  public  must  be  our  only  guide  : 
accordingly,  it  is  incumbent  upon  us  to  take  all 
possible  care,  that  the  soldiers  shall  not  be  absent 
from  their  standard. 




I  HE  Prusenses,  Sir,  having  an  ancient  bath 
which  lies  in  a  ruinous  state,  desire  your  leave  to 
repair  it ;  but,  upon  examination,  I  am  of  opinion 
it  ought  to  be  rebuilt.  I  think,  therefore,  you 
may  indulge  them  in  this  request,  as  there  will 
be  a  sufficient  fund  for  that  purpose,  partly  from 
those  debts  which  are  due  from  private*  persons 

•  See  letter  28  of  this  book. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  247 

to  the  public,  which  I  am  now  levying;  and 
partly  from  the  money  they  raise  among  them- 
selves towards  furnishing  the  bath  with  oil, vwhich 
they  are  willing  to  apply  to  the  carrying  on  of 
this  building:  a  work  which  the  dignity  of  the 
city,  and  the  splendor  of  your  times  seem  to  ren- 
der necessary. 



1  F  the  erecting  of  a  public  bath  will  not  be  too 
great  a  charge  upon  the  Prusenses,  we  may  com- 
ply with  their  request ;  provided,  however,  that 
no  new  tax  be  levied  for  this  purpose,  nor  any  of 
those  taken  off  which  are  appropriated  to  neces- 
sary services. 


1  AM  assured,.  Sir,  by  your  freedman  and  re* 
ceiver-general  Maximus,  that  it  is  necessary  he 
should  have  an  additional  party  of  soldiers  as- 
signed to  him,  besides  the  beneficiarii*  which  by 
your  orders  I  appointed  to  the  very  worthy  Ge- 

*  See  letter  32  of  this  book,  in  note, 


248  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  X. 

-mellinus.  Those,  therefore,  which  I  found  in 
his  service  I  thought  proper  he  should  retain,  es- 
pecially as  he  was  going  into  Paphlagonia,b  in 
order  to  procure  corn.  For  his  better  protection, 
likewise,  and  because  it  was  his  request,  I  added 
two  of  the  cavalry.  But  I  beg  you  would  inform 
me,  in  your  next  dispatches,  what  method  you 
would  have  me  observe  for  the  future  in  points 
of  this  nature. 



As  my*  freedman  M aximus  was  going  upon  an 
extraordinary  commission  to  procure  corn,  I  ap- 
prove of  your  having  supplied  him  with  a  file  of 
soldiers.  But  when  he  shall  return  to  the  duties 
ef  his  former  post,  I  think  two  from  you,  and  as 
many  from  his  coadjutor,  my  receiver-general 
Verbius  Gemellinus,  will  be  sufficient. 


b  A  province  in  the  Lesser  Asia,  bounded  by  the  Black  Sea 
and  the  rivers  Delass  and  Casilirmar. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  249 



IHE  very  excellent  young  man  Sempronius 
Caelianus  having  discovered  two  slaves*  among 
the  recruits,  has  sent  them  to  me.  But  I  deferred 
passing  sentence  till  I  had  consulted  you,  the 
restorer  and  supporter  of  military  discipline,  con- 
cerning the  punishment  proper  to  be  inflicted 
upon  them.  My  principal  doubt  is,  that  although 
they  have  taken  the  military  oath,  they  are  not 
yet  entered  into  any  particular  legion,  I  request 
you,  therefore,  Sir,  to  inform  me,  what  course  I 
should  pursue  in  this  affair,  especially  as  it  con- 
cerns example, 


*  The  Roman  policy  excluded  slaves  from  entering  into  mi- 
litary service,  and  it  was  death  if  they  did  so.  However,  upon 
cases  of  great  necessity,  this  maxim  was  dispensed  with  ;  but 
then  they  were  first  made  free  before  they  were  received  into  the 
army,  excepting  only  (as  Servius,  in  his  notes  upon  Virgil,  ob- 
serves) after  the  fatal  battle  of  Cannae  ;  when  the  public  distress 
v/as  so  great,  that  the  Romans  recruited  their  army  with  their 
slaves,  though  they  had  not  time  to  give  them  their  freedom. — 
One  reason,  perhaps,  of  this  policy  might  be,  that  they  did  not 
think  it  safe  to  arm  so  considerable  a  body  of  men,  whose  num- 
bers, in  the  times  when  the  Roman  luxury  was  highest,  we  may 
have  some  idea  of,  by  the  instance  which  Pliny  the  naturalist 
mentions  of  Claudius  Isodorus,  who,  at  his  death,  was  possessed 
of  no  less  than  4,1 16  slaves,  notwithstanding  he  had  lost  great 
numbers  in  the  civil  wars.  Plin.  Hist.  Nat.  xxxiii.  10.  Meur«. 
siu,s  de  luxu  Rom. 

250  TftE  LETTERS          BOOK  X. 



SEM^RONIU'S  C^,LIANUS  has  acted  agreeably 
to  my  orders,  in  sending  such  persons  to  be 
tried  before  you,  as  appear  to  deserve  capital 
punishment.  It  is  material,  however,  in  the  case 
in  question,  to  enquire  whether  these  slaves  in- 
listed  themselves  voluntarily,  or  were  chosen  by 
the  officers,  or  were  presented  as  substitutes  for 
others.  If  they  were  chosen,  the  officer  is  guilty; 
if  they  are  proxies,  the  blame  rests  with  those 
who  deputed  them ;  but  if,  conscious  of  the  legal 
inabilities  of  their  station,  they  presented  them- 
selves voluntarily,  the  punishment  must  fall  upon 
their  own  heads.  That  they  are  not  yet  entered 
into  any  legion,  makes  no  great  difference  in  their 
case  ;  for  they  ought  to  have  given  a  true  account 
of  themselves  immediately,  upon  their  being  ap- 
proved as  fit  for  the  servire. 





As  I  have  your  permission,  Sir,  to  address  my- 
self to  you  in  all  my  doubts,  you  will  not  deem 
it  below  the  dignity  of  your  exalted  station,  to 
descend  to  those  humbler  affairs,  which  concern 
my  administration  of  this  province.  I  find  there 
are,  in  several  cities,  particularly  those  of  Nico- 
meclia  and  Nicea,  certain  persons  who  take  upon 
themselves  to  act  as  public  slaves/  and  receive  an 
annual  stipend  accordingly,  notwithstanding  they 
have  been  condemned  either  to  the  mines,  the 
public  games, b  or  other  punishments  of  the  like 
nature.  Having  received  information  of  this  abuse, 
I  have  been  long  debating  with  myself,  how  I 
should  act.  On  the  one  hand,  to  send  them  back 
to  their  respective  punishments,  (many  of  them 
being  now  grown  old,  and  behaving,  as  I  am  as- 
sured, with  sobriety  and  modesty)  would,  I 
thought,  be  proceeding  against  them  too  severe- 
ly ;  on  the  other,  to  retain  convicted  criminals  in 
the  public  service,  seemed  not  altogether  decent. 
I  considered,  at  the  same  time,  to  support  these 


a  See  note,  letter  30  of  this  book. 

b  A  punishment  among  the  Romans,  usually  inflicted  upon 
slaves,  by  which  they  were  to  engage  with  wild  beasts,  Or  per- 
form the  part  of  gladiators,  in  the  public  shows. 



people  in  idleness,  would  be  an  useless  expence 
to  the  public ;  and  to  leave  them  to  starve,  would 
be  dangerous.  I  was  obliged,  therefore,  to  sus- 
pend the  determination  of  this  matter,  till  I  could 
consult  with  you.  You  will  be  desirous,  perhaps, 
to  be  informed,  how  it  happened  that  these  per- 
sons escaped  the  punishments  to  which  they  were 
condemned.  This  enquiry  I  have  also  made, 
but  cannot  return  you  any  satisfactory  answer. 
The  decrees  against  them  were  indeed  produced ; 
but  no  record  appears  of  their  having  ever  been 
reversed.  It  was  asserted,  however,  that  these 
people  were  pardoned  upon  their  petition  to  the 
proconsuls,  or  their  lieutenants;  which  seems 
likely  to  be  the  truth,  as  it  is  improbable  that  any 
person  would  have  dared  to  set  them  at  liberty 
without  authority. 


You  will  remember  you  were  sent  into  Bithynia, 
for  the  particular  purpose  of  correcting  those 
many  abuses  which  appeared  necessary  to  be  re- 
formed. Now  none  stands  more  in  need  of  refor- 
mation, than  that  criminals,  who  have  been  sen- 
tenced to  punishment,  should  not  only  be  set  at 
liberty  (as  your  letter  informs  me)  without  any 


BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  253 

apparent  authority,  but  even  appointed  to  em- 
ployments, which  ought  alone  to  be  exercised  by 
persons  whose  characters  are  irreproachable. — 
Those,  therefore,  among  them,  who  have  been 
convicted  within  these  ten  years,  and  whose  sen- 
tence has  not  been  reversed  by  proper  authority, 
must  be  sent  back  to  their  respective  punish- 
ments ;  but  where  more  than  ten  years  have 
elapsed  since  their  conviction,  and  they  are  grown 
old  and  infirm,  let  them  be  disposed  of  in  such 
employments,  as  are  but  few  degrees  removed 
from  the  punishments  to  which  they  were  sen- 
tenced ;  that  is,  either  to  attend  upon  the  public 
baths,  cleanse  the  common  sewers,  or  repair  the 
streets  and  highways ;  those  being  the  offices  to 
which  such  persons  are  usually  sentenced. 




WHILE  I  was  making  a  progress  in  a  different 
part  of  the  province,  a  most  destructive  fire  broke 
out  at  Nicomedia,  which  not  only  consumed  se- 
veral private  houses,  but  also  two  public  build- 
ings ;  the  town-house  and  the  temple  of  Isis, 
though  they  stood  on  contrary  sides  of  the  street. 
The  occasion  of  its  spreading  thus  wide,  was 
partly  owing  to  the  violence  of  the  wind,  and 


2.54  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  X. 

partly  to  the  indolence  of  the  people,  who,  it  ap- 
pears, stood  fixed  and  idle  spectators  of  this  ter- 
rible calamity.  The  truth  is,  the  city  was  not 
furnished  with  either  engines, a  buckets,  or  any 
single  instrument  proper  to  extinguish  fires : 
which  I  have  now,  however,  given  directions  to 
be  provided.  You  will  consider,  Sir,  whether  it 
may  not  be  adviseable  to  form  a  company  of  fire- 
men, consisting  only  ofv  one  hundred  and  fifty 
members.  I  will  take  care  none  but  those  of  that 
business  shall  be  admitted  into  it ;  and  that  the 
privileges  granted  them  shall  not  be  extended  to 
any  other  purpose.  As  this  corporate  body  will 
be  restricted  to  so  small  a  number  of  members,  it 
will  be  easy  to  keep  them  under  proper  regula- 


*  It  has  been  generally  imagined  that  the  ancients  had  not 
the  art  of  raising  water  by  engines;  but  this  passage  seems  to 
favour  the  contrary  opinion.  The  word  in  the  original  isSip/io, 
which  Hesychius  explains  (as  one  of  the  commentators  observes) 
instrumentum  adjaculandas  aquas  adrersus  inccndia  •  an  instru- 
ment to  throw  up  water  against  fires."  But  there  is  a  passage 
in  Seneca  which  seems  to  put  this  matter  beyond  conjecture, 
though  none  of  the  critics  upon  this  place  have  taken  notice  of 
it :  Solemvs,  says  he,  dvabus  manibiis  inter  sejunctis  aquam  con- 
cipcre  et  cumpressa  titriwque  palma  in  modum  sip/tonis  fxprimerc, 
[Q.  N.  1.  2.  16.]  where  we  plainly  see  the  use  of  this  Sipho  was 
to  throw  up  water,  and  consequently  the  Romanswere  acquainted 
ivith  that  art.  The  account  which  Pliny  gives  of  the  fountains 
at  his  Tuscan  villa  is  likewise  another  proof. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  255 


You  are  of  opinion  it  would  be  proper  to  esta- 
blish a  company  of  fire-men  in  Nicomeclia,  agree- 
ably to  what  has  been  practised  in  several  other 
cities.  But  it  is  to  be  remembered,  that  societies 
of  this  sort  have  greatly  disturbed  the  peace  of 
the  province  in  general,  '  and  of  those  cities  in 
particular.  Whatever  name  we  give  them,  and 
for  whatever  purpose  they  may  be  instituted,  they 
will  not  fail  to  form  themselves  into  factious  as- 
semblies, however  short  their  meetings  may  be. 
It  will,  therefore,  be  safer,  to  provide  such  ma- 
chines as  are  of  service  in  extinguishing  fires,  en- 
joining the  owners  of  houses  to  assist  in  pre- 
venting the  mischief  from  spreading ;  and  if  it 
should  be  necessary,  to  call  in  the  aid  of  the 



AGREEABLY  to  the  general  notice  we  previous-* 
ly  gave  for  that  purpose,  we  have  offered,  Sir, 
our  annual  vows a  for  your  prosperity,  in  which 


*Tbis  was  an  anniversary  custom  observed  throughout  the 
empire,  on  the  30lh  of  December. 


that  of  the  empire  is.  essentially  involved  ;  im- 
ploring the  Gods  to  grant  that  these  yearly  vows 
may  never  cease  to  be  thus,  by  public  authority, 
announced  and  offered. 


1  RECEIVED  the  satisfaction,  my  dear  Pliny,  of 
being  informed  by  your  letter,  that  you,  together 
with  the  people  under  your  government,  have 
both  discharged  and  renewed  your  annual  vows 
to  the  immortal  Gods,  for  my  health  and  hap- 



1  HE  city  of  Nicomedia,  Sir,  have  expended 
three  millions  three  hundred  and  twenty-nine 
sesterces,3  in  building  an  aqueduct ;  which,  not 
answering  the  intent,  the  works  are  entirely  fallen, 
into  ruin.  They  made  a  second  attempt  in  ano- 
ther place,  where  they  expended  two  millions.11 
Hut  in  this,  likewise,  they  were  disappointed;  so 
that,  after  having  been  at  an  immense  charge  to 


a  About  ^£24,000  of  our  money. 
b  About  ^16,000  of  our  money. 

BOOK.  X.  OF  PLINY.  257 

no  purpose,  they  must  still  be  at  a  farther  ex- 
pence,  in  order  to  be  accommodated  with  water* 
I  have  examined  a  fine  spring,  from  whence  the 
water  may  be  conveyed  over  arches  (as  was  at- 
tempted in  their  first  design)  in  such  a  manner 
that  the  higher,  as  well  as  level  and  low  parts  of 
the  city  may  be  supplied.  There  are  but  very 
few  of  the  old  arches  remaining;  the  square 
stones,  however,  employed  in  the  former,  may 
be  used  in  turning  the  new  arches.  I  am  of  opi- 
nion part  should  be  raised  with  brick,  as  that 
will  be  the  easier  and  cheaper  material.  But  that 
this  work  may  not  meet  with  the  same  ill  success 
as  the  former,  it  will  be  necessary  to  send  hither 
an  architect,  or  some  person  skilled  in  the  con- 
struction of  this  kind  of  water  works.  And  I 
will  venture  to  say,  from  the  beauty  and  useful- 
ness of  the  design,  it  will  be  an  erection  well  wor- 
thy the  splendor  of  your  times. . 


V^ARE  must  be  taken  to  supply  the  city  of  Nico- 
media  with  water;  and  that  business,  I  am  well  per- 
suaded, you  will  perform  with  all  the  diligence  you 
ought.  But  it  is  most  certainly  no  less  incumbent 
upon  you  to  examine,  by  whose  misconduct  it  has 



happened,  that  such  large  sums  have  been  thrown 
away  upon  this  attempt ;  lest  they  apply  the  mo- 
ney to  private  purposes,  and  the  aquseduct  in 
question,  like  the  preceding,  should  be  begun 
and  afterwards  left  unfinished.  You  will  let  me 
know  the  result  of  your  enquiry. 



1  H  E  citizens  of  Nicea,  Sir,  are  building  a  theatre, 
.on  which,  though  it  is  not  yet  finished,  they  have 
already  expended,  as  I  am  informed,  (for  I  have 
not  examined  the  account  myself)  above  ten  mil- 
lions of  sesterces.;*  and,  what  is  worse,  I  fear  to 


*  About  ^80,000  of  our  money.  To  those  who  are  not  ac- 
quainted with. the  immense  riches  cf  the  ancients,  it  may  seem 
incredible  that  a  city,  and  not  the  capital  one,  of  a  conquered 
province,  should  expend  so  large  a  sum  of  money  upon  only  the 
shell  (as  it  appears  to  be)  ot  a  theatre:  but  Asia  was  esteemed 
the  most  considerable  part  of  the  world  for  wealth  ;  its  fertility 
and  expurtations  (as  Tully*  observes)  exceeding  that  of  all  other 
countries.  The  ingenious  Dr.  Arbuthnot  quotes  an  instance 
from  Athenaeus  of  Asiatic  riches,  which  a  man  must  be  a  tole- 
rable arithmetician  even  to  count.  It  is  the  value  of  the  trea- 
sure of  Sardanapulus,  with  which  be  made  a  funeral  pile  tfqr 
himself  and  family,  when  be  was  besieged  by  Arbact-s,  king  of 
the  Medes.  "  Athenaeus  makes  the  value  of  the  treasure  uf 
"  this  pile  to  amount  to  100,000,000  talents,  which,  reckoned 
*  in  Babylonia  talents,  amounts  to  ^16,953,125,000.  This 
"  was  only  the  value  of  the  silver ;  there  was,  besides,  a  tenth 
"  part  of  that  number  of  talents  of  gold,  which,  if  gold  was 
"  reckoned  in  a  decuple  proportion,  will  just  double  that  sum." 
jLrbutk.  ant.  Coins,  p.  203. 

*  Orat.  pro.  Imp.  Cn. 

BooKX.  OF  PLINY.  259 

no  purpose.     For,  either  from  the  foundation  be- 
ing laid  in  a  marshy  ground,   or  that  the  stones 
themselves  were  decayed,   the  walls  are  cracked 
from  top  to  bottom.     It  deserves  your  considera- 
tion, therefore,  whether  it  would  be  best  to  carry 
on  tills  work,  or  entirely  discontinue  it ;  or  rather, 
perhaps,   whether  it  would  not  be  most  prudent 
absolutely  to  destroy  it :  for  the  foundations  upon 
which  this  building  is  raised,  appear  to  me  more 
expensive  than  solid.     Several  private  persons  have 
promised  to  erect,  at  their  own  expence,  some  the 
portico,  others  the  galleries  above  the  pit  :b  but 
this  design  cannot  be  executed,   as  the  principal 
fabric  is  at  a  stand.     This  city  is  also  rebuilding 
upon  a  more  enlarged  plan,  the  gymnasium,0  which 
was  burnt  down  before  my  arrival  in  the  province. 
They  have  already  been  at  some  (and,  I  doubt,  a 
fruitless)  expence.     The  structure  is  not  only  ir- 
regular and  ill-disposed,  but  the  present  architect 
(who,  it  must  be  owned,  is  a  rival  to  the  person 
who  was  first  employed)  asserts,  that  the  walls, 
though  they  are  twenty- two  feet  thick/  are  not 
strong  enough  to  support  the  superstructure,   as 


b  The  word  cavea,  in  the  original,  comprehends  more  than 
what  we  call  tliepit,  in  our  theatres,  as  it  means  the  whole  space 
in  which  the  spectators  sate.  These  theatres  being  open  at  top, 
the  galleries  here  mentioned  were  for  the  convenience  of  retiring 
in  bad  weather. 

c  A  place  in  which  the  athletic  exercises  were  performed,  and 
where  the  philosophers  also  used  to  read  their  lectures. 

d  A  Roman  foot  consisted  of  11  inches  and  7  tenths  of  our 


their  interstices  are  not  cemented  with  mortar,  nor 
are  these  walls  strengthened  with  a  testaceous  co- 

The  inhabitants  of  Claudiopolis c  are  sinking 
(I  cannot  call  it  erecting)  a  large  public  bath, 
upon  a  low  spot  of  ground  which  lies  at  the  foot 
of  a  mountain.  The  fund  appropriated  for  the 
carrying  on  of  this  work,  arises  from  the  money 
which  those  honorary  members  you  were  pleased 
to  add  to  their  senate,  paid  (or  at  least  are  ready 
to  pay  whenever  I  call  upon  them)  for  their  ad- 
mission/ As  I  am  afraid  therefore  the  public 
money  in  the  city  of  Nicea,  and  (what  is  infinitely 
more  valuable  than  any  pecuniary  consideration) 
your  benefaction  in  that  of  Claudiopolis,  should 
be  ill  applied ;  I  must  desire  you  to  send  hither  an 
architect  to  inspect,  not  only  the  theatre,  but  the 
bath ;  in  order  to  consider  whether,  after  all  the 
expence  which  has  already  been  laid  out,  it  will  be 
better  to  finish  them  upon  the  present  plan,  or  re- 
form the  one,  and  remove  the  other  :  for  otherwise 
we  may  perhaps  throw  away  our  future  cost,  by  en- 
deavouring not  to  lose  what  we  have  already  ex- 


e  A  city  in  Isaaric,  a  province  in  Asia,  situated  at  the  foot  of 
Mount  Taurus,  between  Lyconia,  1'amphiiia,  Cilicia,  and  the 

f  The  honorary  senators,  that  is,  such  who  \vere  not  received 
into  the  council  of  the  city  by  election,  but  by  the  appointment 
of  the  emperor,  paid  a  certain  sum  of  money  upon  their  admis- 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  26  1 


I  o  u,  who  are  upon  the  spot,  will  best  be  able  to 
consider  and  determine  what  is  proper  to  be  done 
concerning  the  theatre,  which  the  inhabitants  of 
Nicea  are  building  ;  as  for  myself,  it  will  be  suffi- 
cient if  you  let  me  know  your  determination. 
With  respect  to  the  particular  parts  of  this  theatre 
which  are  to  be  raised  at  a  private  charge,  you  will 
see  those  engagements  fulfilled,  when  the  body 
of  the  building  to  which  they  are  to  be  annexed 
shall  be  finished.  These  paltry  Greeks  are,  I  know, 
immoderately  fond  of  gymnastic  diversions,    and 
therefore,    perhaps,    the  citizens   of  Nicea  have 
planned  a  more  magnificent  fabric  for  this  purpose 
than  is  necessaiy  :  however,  they  must  be  content- 
ed with  such  as  will  be  sufficient  to  answer  the  use 
for  which  it  is  intended. 

I  entirely  leave  it  to  you  to  advise  the  Claudio- 
politani  as  you  shall  think  proper,  with  relation  to 
their  bath,  which  they  have  placed,  it  seems,  in  a 
very  improper  situation.  As  there  is  no  province 
that  is  not  furnished  with  men  of  skill  and  ingenui- 
ty, you  cannot  possibly  want  architects  ;  unless 
you  think  it  the  shortest  way  to  procure  them  from 
Rome,  when  it  is  generally  from  Greece  that  they 
come  to  us. 


9$2  THE  LETTERS        BOOKX, 


WHEN  I  reflect  upon  the  splendour  of  your  exalt- 
ed station,  and  the  magnanimity  of  your  spirit ; 
nothing,  I  am  persuaded,  can  be  more  suitable  to 
both,  than  to  point  out  to  you  such  designs  as  are 
worthy  of  your  glorious  and  immortal  name,  as 
being  no  less  useful  than  magnificent.  Bordering 
upon  the  territories  of  the  city  of  Nicomedia  is  a 
most  extensive  lake  ;  upon  which  the  commodities 
of  the  country  are  easily  and  cheaply  transported 
to  the  high  road  ;  but  from  thence  are  conveyed 
in  carriages  to  the  sea  side,  at  great  charge  and  la- 
bour. To  remedy  this  inconvenience,  will  require 
many  hands;  but,  upon  such  an  occasion,  tlicy  can- 
not be  wanting ;  for  the  country,  and  particularly 
the  city,  is  exceedingly  populous  :  and  one  may  as- 
suredly hope,  that  every  person  will  readily  engage 
4n  a  work  which  will  be  of  universal  benefit.  It 
only  remains  then  to  send  hither,  if  you  shall  think 
proper,  a  surveyor  or  an  architect,  in  order  to  ex- 
amine whether  the  lake  lies  above  the  level  of  the 
sea ;  the  engineers  of  this  province  being  of  opinion 
that  the  former  is  higher  by  forty  cubits.*  I  find 
there  is  in  the  neighbourhood  of  this  place,  a  large 


*  A  Roman  cubit  is  equal  to  1  foot  5  inches  rb°^5  of  our  mea- 
sure.    Arbuthnot's  Tab. 


canal,  which  was  formerly  cut  by  one  of  the  kings 
of  this  country  ;  but  as  it  was  left  unfinished,  it  is 
uncertain  whether  the  canal  was  for  the  purpose  of 
draining  the  adjacent  lands,  or  making  a  commu- 
nication between  the  lake  and  the  river.  It  is 
equally  doubtful,  whether  the  death  of  this  Prince, 
or  the  despair  of  being  able  to  accomplish  the  de- 
sign, prevented  its  completion.  If  the  latter,  I  am 
so  much  the  more  ambitious,  for  the  honour  of 
your  illustrious  character  (and  I  hope  you  will  par- 
don me  the  pride)  that  you  may  have  the  glory  of 
executing,  what  kings b  could  only  attempt. 


k  A  commentator  upon  this  passage  thinks  this  a  very  extra- 
ordinary compliment ;  "  As  if,"  says  he,  "  an  emperor  of  Rome 
"  could  not  do  more  than  a  little  king  of  Biihynia."  But  it  is 
much  more  probable  that  this  critic  should  be  mistaken  in  his 
objection,  than  Pliny  in  his  compliment;  and  though  he  will 
have  it  to  be  a  little  king,  it  is  more  reasonable  to  suppose  our 
author  meant  some  great  king  of  Persia.  Besides,  Imperator, 
among  the  Romans,  had  not  of  itself  any  such  high  idea,  as  has 
been  affixed  to  it  in  later  times.  The  meaning,  therefore,  of 
this  wish  seems  to  be,  that  though  Trajan  was  comented  to  be 
in  title  no  more  than  General,  [Imperator}  yet,  in  acts  of  pub- 
lic munificence,  he  might  be  more  than  those  \vht>  proudly  styled 
themselves  kings. 



1  HER£  is  something  in  the  scheme  you  propose 
of  opening  a  communication  between  the  lake  and 
the  sea,  which  may,  perhaps,  tempt  me  to  consent. 
But  you  must  first  carefully  examine  the  situation 
of  this  body  of  water,  what  quantity  it  contains, 
and  from  whence  it  is  supplied  ;  lest,  by  giving  it 
an  opening  into  the  sea,  it  should  be  totally  drain- 
ed. You  may  apply  to  Calpumius  Macer  for  an 
engineer ;  as  I  will  also  send  you  from  hence  some 
persons  skilled  in  works  of  this  nature. 



U  PON  examining  the  public  expences  of  the  city 
of  Byzantium,*  (which  I  iind  are  extremely  great) 
I  was  informed,  Sir,  that  the  appointments  of  the 
ambassador,  which  they  send  yearly  to  you  with 
their  homage  and  the  decree  which  passes  in  the 
senate  upon  that  occasion,  amount  to  twelve  thou- 
sand sesterces. b  But  knowing  the  generous 
maxims  of  your  government,  I  thought  proper  to 
send  the  decree  without  the  ambassador ;  that  at 


'  Now  Constantinople. 
b  About  £.96  sterlin. 

BOOK.  X.  OF  PLINY.  265 

the  same  time  they  discharged  their  public  duty  to 
you,  they  might  he  eased  in  the  manner  of  paying 
it.  This  city  is  likewise  taxed  with  the  sum  of 
three  thousand  sesterces, c  towards  defraying  the 
cxpence  of  an  envoy,  whom  they  annually  send  to 
compliment  the  governor  of  Moesia :  this  expenc<? 
J  have  also  directed  to  be  spared.  I  beg,  Sir,  you 
would  deign  either  to  confirm  my  judgment,  or 
correct  my  error  in  these  points,  by  acquainting  me 
with  your  sentiments, 


1  WELL  approve,  my  dear  Pliny,  of  your  having 
excused  the  Byzantines  the  expence  of  sending  an 
ambassador  to  me.  I  shall  esteem  their  duty  as 
sufficiently  paid,  though  I  only  receive  the  act  of 
their  senate  through  your  hands.  The  governor 
of  Moesia  must  likewise  excuse  them,  if  they  com- 
pliment him  at  a  less  expence. 


c  About  .s£.24  of  our  money. 

266  "  THS  LETTERS  BOOK  X. 


I  BEG,  Sir,  you  would  settle  a  doubt  I  have  con- 
cerning your  Diplomas  ;a  whether  you  think  pro- 
per that  those  Diplomas,  the  dates  whereof  are 
expired,  shall  continue  in  force,  and  how  long  ? 
For  I  am  apprehensive  I  may,  through  ignorance, 
either  confirm  such  of  these  instruments  as  are 
illegal,  or  prevent  the  effect  of  those  which  are 


THOSE  Diplomas,  the  dates  whereof  are  expired, 
must  by  no  means  be  made  use  of.  Eor  which 
reason  it  is  an  inviolable  rule  with  me,  to  send  new 
instruments  of  this  kind  into  all  the  provinces  be- 
fore they  are  immediately  wanted. 


•  A  diploma  is  properly  a  grant  of  certain  privileges  either  to 
particular  places  or  persons.  It  signifies,  also,  grants  of  other 
kinds ;  and  it  sometimes  means  post-warrants,*  as,  perhaps, 
it  does  in  this  place. 

*  See  letter  xiv.  of  this  book,  in  the  notes. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  267 



UPON  intimating,  Sir,  my  design  to  the  city  of 
Apamea*  of  examining  into  the  state  of  their  pub- 
lic funds  and  revenues ;  they  told  me  they  were 
very  willing  I  should  inspect  their  accounts,  hut 
that  no  Proconsul  had  ever  yet  perused  them  > 
as  they  had  a  privilege  (and  that  of  a  very  ancient 
date)  of  administering  the  affairs  of  their  corpora- 
tion in  the  manner  they  thought  proper.  I  re- 
quired them  to  draw  up  a  memorial  of  what  they 
then  asserted,  and  I  transmit  it  to  you  precisely 
us  I  received  it;  although  I  am  sensible  it  con- 
tains several  things  foreign  to  the  question.  I  beg 
you  would  honour  me  with  your  commands,  how 
I  am  to  act  in  this  matter :  for,  I  should  be  ex- 
tremely sorry  either  to  exceed,  or  to  fall  short  of 

the  powers  of  my  commission. 


*  A  city  in  Bithynia. 


26*8  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  X. 


1  H  E  memorial  of  the  Apamcans,  annexed  to  your 
letter,  saved  me  the  necessity  of  considering  the 
reasons  they  suggest,  why  the  former  proconsuls 
forbore  to  inspect  their  accounts  ;  since  they  are 
willing  to  submit  them  to  your  examination. — 
Their  compliance  deserves  to  be  encouraged  ;  and 
they  may  be  assured  the  enquiry  you  are  to  make 
in  pursuance  of  my  orders,  shall  be  with  a  full 
reserve  to  their  privileges. 



I  H  E  Nicomedians,  Sir,  before  my.  arrival  in  this 
province,  had  begun  to  build  a  new  forum  con- 
tiguous to  their  former,  in  a  corner  of  which  stands 
an  ancient  temple  dedicated  to  the  mother  of  the 
Gods."  This  edifice  must  either  be  repaired  or  re- 
moved ;  chiefly  because  it  is  a  much  lower  build- 
ing than  that  very  lofty  one  which  is  now  erect- 
ing. Upon  enquiiy  whether  any  particular  con- 

*  Cybele,  Rhea,  or  Ops,  as  she  is  severally  called  ;  from 
whom,  according  to  the  pagan  creed,  the  rest  of  the  gods  are 
supposed  to  have  descended. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  269 

dition  had  been  annexed  to  the  dedication  of  this 
temple,  I  was  informed  that  their  ceremonies  of 
dedication  differ  from  ours.  You  will  be  pleased, 
therefore,  Sir,  to  consider  whether  a  temple,  which 
has  not  been  consecrated  according  to  our  rites, 
may  be  removed3  consistently  with  the  reverence 
due  to  religion  :  for  if  there  should  be  no  objection 
from  that  quarter,  the  removal  in  every  other  re- 
spect would  be  extremely  convenient. 


You  may,  without  scruple,  my  dear  Pliny,  if  the 
situation  requires  it,  remove  the  temple  of  the 
mother  of  the  Gods,  from  the  place  where  it  now 
stands,  to  any  other  more  commodious.  You 
need  be  under  no  difficulty  concerning  the  act  of 
dedication ;  for  the  ground  of  a  foreign b  city  is 
not  capable  of  receiving  that  kind  of  consecration 

which  is  sanctified  by  our  laws. 


*  Whatever  was  legally  consecrated,  was  ever  afterwards  un- 
applicable  to  profane  uses. 

8  That  is,  a  city  not  admitted  to  enjoy  the  laws  and  privi- 
leges of  Rome. 




WE  have  celebrated,  Sir,  (with  those  sentiments 
of  gratulation  which  your  virtues  so  justly  merit) 
the  day  of  your  accession  to  the  empire,  which 
was  also  its  preservation,  imploring  the  Gods  to 
preserve  you  in  health  and  prosperity;  for  upon 
your  welfare  the  security  and  repose  of  the  world 
depends.  I  renewed  at  the  same  time  the  oath  of 
allegiance  at  the  head  of  the  army,  which  repeated 
it  after  me  in  the  usual  form,  the  people  of  the 
province  zealously  concurring  in  the  same  oath. 


Yo  u  R  letter,  my  dear  Pliny,  was  extremely  ac- 
ceptable, as  it  informed  me  of  the  zeal  and  affec- 
tion with  which  you,  together  with  the  army  and 
the-  provincials,  solemnised  the  day  of  my  acces- 
sion to  the  empire. 


BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  271 



THE  debts  which  were  owing  to  the  public,  are, 
by  the  pudence,  Sir,  of  your  councils,  and  the  care 
of  my  administration,  either  actually  paid,  or  are 
now  recovering  :  but  I  am  afraid  the  money  must 
lie  unemployed.  For,  as,  on  one  side,  there  are 
few  or  no  opportunities  of  purchasing  land,  so,  on 
the  other,  one  cannot  meet  with  any  person  who 
is  willing  to  borrow  of  the  public4  (especially  at  the 
interest  of  12  per  cent.}  when  they  can  raise 
money  upon  the  same  terms  from  private  hands. 
You  will  therefore  consider,  Sir,  whether  it  may 
not  be  adviseable,  in  order  to  invite  responsible 
persons  to  take  this  money,  to  lower  the  interest ; 
or  if  that  scheme  should  not  succeed,  to  place  it 
in  the  hands  of  the  Decurii,  upon  their  giving 
sufficient  security  to  the  public.  And  though  they 
should  not  be  willing  to  receive  it,  yet  as  the  rate 
of  interest  will  be  abated,  the  hardship  will  be  so 

much  the  less. 


*  The  reason  why  they  did  not  choose  to  borrow  cf  the  pub- 
lie  at  the  same  rate  of  interest  which  they  paid  to  private  per- 
sons, was,  (as  one  of  the  commentators  observes)  because,  in 
the  former  instance,  they  were  obliged  to  give  security;  where- 
as, in  the  latter,  they  could  raise  money  upon  their  personal 



AGREE  with  you,  my  dear  Pliny,   that  there 
seems  to  be  no  other  method  of  facilitating  the 


placing  out  of  the  public  money,  than  by  lower- 
ing the  interest ;  the  rate  of  which  you  will  deter- 
mine according  to  the  number  of  borrowers.  But 
to  compel  persons  to  receive  it,  who  are  not  so 
disposed,  when  possibly  they  themselves  may 
have  no  opportunity  of  employing  it,  is,  by 
no  means,  consistent  with  the  justice  of  my  go- 


1  RETURN  you  my  warmest  acknowledgments* 
Sir,  that,  among  the  many  important  occupations 
in  which  you  are  engaged,  you  have  condescend- 
ed to  be  my  guide  in  those  points  wherein  I  have 
consulted  you  :  a  favour  which  I  must  now  again 
beseech  you  to  grant  me.  A  certain  person  pre- 
sented himself  to  me  with  a  complaint,  that  his 
adversaries,  who  had  been  banished  for  three  years 
by  the  illustrious  Servilius  Calvus,  still  remained 
iu  the  province :  they,  on  the  contrary,  affirmed 


BOOK  X.  OF  JPLtNY.  273 

that  Calvus  had  revoked  their  sentence,  and  pro- 
duced his  edict  for  that  purpose  :  I  thought  it  ne- 
cessary, therefore,  to  refer  the  affair  entirely  to 
you.  For,  as  I  have  your  express  orders  not  to 
restore  any  person  who  has  been  sentenced  to  ba- 
nishment either  by  myself  or  others  ;  so  I  have  no 
directions  with  respect  to  those,  who  having  been 
banished  by  some  of  my  predecessors  in  this  go- 
vernment, have  by  them  also  been  restored.  It  is 
necessary  for  me,  therefore,  to  beg  you  would  in- 
form me,  Sir,  how  I  am  to  act  with  regard  to , the 
above-mentioned  persons,  as  also  to  others,  who 
after  having  been  condemned  to  perpetual  banish- 
ment, have  been  found  in  the  province  without 
permission  to  return  :  for,  cases  of  that  nature 
have  likewise  fallen  under  my  cognizance.  A 
person  was  brought  before  me,  who  had  been 
sentenced  to  perpetual  exile  by  the  proconsul  Ju- 
lius Bassus ;  but  as  I  knew  that  the  acts  of  Bas- 
sus,  during  his  administration,  had  been  re- 
scinded, and  that  the  senate  had  granted  leave  to 
all  those  who  had  fallen  under  his  condemnation, 
of  appealing  from  his  decision  at  any  time  within 
the  space  of  two  years ;  I  enquired  of  this  man 
whether  he  had,  accordingly,  stated  his  case  to 
the  proconsul.  He  replied,  he  had  not.  I  en- 
treat you,  therefore,  to  inform  me  whether  you 
would  have  him  sent  back  into  exile ;  or  whether 
you  think  some  more  severe  and  what  kind  of 
1  punishment 


punishment  should  be  inflicted  upon  him,  and 
such  others  who  may  hereafter  be  found  under  the 
same  circumstances.  I  have  annexed  to  my  let- 
ter the  decree  of  Calvus,  together  with  the  edict 
by  which  the  persons  abovementioned  were  re- 
stored, as  also  the  decree  of  Bass  us. 


I  WILL  let  you  know  my  determination  con- 
cerning those  exiles  which  were  banished  for 
three  years  by  the  proconsul  P.  Servilius  Calvus, 
and  soon  afterwards  restored  to  the  .province  by 
his  edict,  when  I  shall  have  informed  myself  from 
him  of  the  reasons  of  this  proceeding.  With  re- 
spect to  that  person  who  was  sentenced  to  perpe- 
tual banishment  by  Julius  Bassus,  yet  continued 
to  remain  in  the  province,  without  making  his 
appeal,  if  he  thought  himself  aggrieved  (though 
he  had  two  years  given  him  for  that  purpose) 
I  would  have  him  sent  in  chains  to  my  prastorian 
prefects  ;a  for,  only  to  remand  him  back  to  a  pu- 
nishment which  he  has  contumaciously  eluded, 
will,  by  no  means,  be  a  sufficient  chastisement. 


a  These,  in  the  original  institution,  as  settled  by  Augustus, 
were  only  commanders  of  his  body  guards ;  but  in  the  latter 
times  of  the  Roman  empire,  they  were  next  in  authority  under 
the  emperor,  to  whom  they  seem  to  have  acted  as  a  sort  of  prime 


BOOK.  X.  OF  PLINY.  275 



WHEN  I  cited  the  judges,  Sir,  to  attend  me  at  a 
sessions*  which  I  was  going  to  hold ;  Flavius 
Archippus  claimed  the  privilege  of  being  excused, 
as  exercising  the  profession  of  a  philosopher.11 
It  was  alledged  by  some,  who  were  present,  that 
he  ought  not  only  to  be  excused  from  that  office, 
but  even  struck  out  of  the  roll  of  judges,  and 
remanded  back  to  the  punishment  from  which 
he  had  escaped  by  breaking  his  chains.  At  the 
same  time,  a  sentence  of  the  proconsul  Velius 
Paullus  was  read,  by  which  it  appeared  that 
Archippus  had  been  condemned  to  the  mines 
for  forgery.  He  had  nothing  to  produce  in  proof 
of  this  sentence  having  ever  been  reversed.  He 
alledged,  nevertheless,  in  favour  of  his  restitution, 
a  petition  which  he  presented  to  Domitian,  toge- 
ther with  a  letter  from  that  prince,  and  a  decree  of 
the  Prusensians  in  his  honour.  To  these  he  an- 
nexed a  letter  which  he  had  received  from  you ; 
as  also  an  edict,  and  a  letter  of  your  august  fa- 

*  The  Provinces  wen*  divided  into  a  kind  of  circuits,  called 
conientus,  whither  the  proconsuls  used  to  go  in  order  to  admi- 
nister justice.  The  judges  here  mentioned  must  not  be  under- 
stood to  mean  the  sam-j  sort  of  judicial  officers  as  with  us;  they 
were  rather  in  the  nature  of  our  juries. 

"  By  the  imperial  constitutions  the  philosophers  Were  tx- 
empted  from  all  public  functious.  Catanceus. 

276*  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  X. 

ther,  confirming  the  grants  which  had  been  made 
to  him  by  Domitian.,  For  these  reasons,  notwith- 
standing crimes  of  so  atrocious  a  nature  were  laid 
to  his  charge,  I  did  not  think  proper  to  determine 
any  thing  concerning  him,  without  first  consult- 
ing you  ;  as  it  is  an  affair,  which  seems  to  merit 
your  particular  decision.  I  have  transmitted  to 
you,  with  this  letter,  the  several  allegations  on 
both  sides. 


FLAVIUS  ARCHIPPUS  the  philosopher  has 
"  prevailed  with  me  to  give  an  order  for  600,000 
"  sesterces,^  to  be  laid  out  in  the  purchase  of  an 
"  estate  for  the  support  of  him  and  his  family,  in 
"  the  neighbourhood  of  Prusias,b  his  native  coun- 
"  try.  Let  this  be  done  accordingly  ;  and  place 
"  that  sum  to  the  article  of  my  benefactions." 


''  I  RECOMMEND,  my  dear  Maximus,  to  your 
"  protection,  that  worthy  philosopher  Archippus, 
"  whose  moral  conduct  is  agreeable  to  the  princi- 

"  pies 

*  About  ^£.4800  of  our  money. 

b  Geographers  are  not  agreed  where  to  place  this  city  ;  Cel- 
larius  conjectures  it  may  possibly  be  the  >ame  with  Pnisa  ad 
Olympvm,  Prusa  at  the  foot  of  Mount  Olympus  in  Mysia,  men- 
tioned in  Let.  85  of  this  book. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  277 

"  pies  of  the  philosophy  he  professes  :  and  I  would 
"  have  you  pay  great  regard  to  whatever  he  shall 
"  reasonahly  request." 


1  HERE  are  some  points,  Quirites,*  concerning 
"  which  the  happy  tenor  of  my  government  is, 
"  I  am  persuaded,  a  sufficient  indication  of  mv 
"  sentiments ;  and  a  good  prince  need  not  give 
11  express  declarations  in  matters  wherein  his  in- 
"  tentions  cannot  but  be  universally  understood. 
"  Every  citizen  in  the  empire  will  bear  me  wit-' 
"  ness,  that  I  gave  up  my  private  repose  to  ihe 
"  security  of  the  public,  and  in  order  that  I 
"  might  have  the  pleasure  of  dispensing  new 
"  bounties  of  my  own,  as  also  of  confirming 
"  those  which  had  been  granted  by  my  predeces.- 
"  sors.  But  lest  the  memory  of  him"  who  con- 
"  ferred  these  grants,  or  the  diffidence  of  those 
"  who  received  them,  should  occasi9n  any  inter- 
"  ruption  to  the  public  joy,  I  thought  it  no  less 
"  necessary  than  it  is  agreeable  to  me  to  obviate 
"  these  suspicious,  by  assuring  the  persons  con- 
"  cerned  of  my  indulgence.  Let  it  notJJbc  thought 
"  that  I  shall  rescind  either  the  public  or  private 
"  acts  of  any  former  prince,  in  order  to  merit  the 

"  credit 

a  A  general  appellation  given  to  the  Roman  people. 
k  Domitian. 

VOL.  II.  T 


"  credit  of-  restoring  them ;  nor  need  any  who 
[<  have  received  the  gratifications  of  imperial  fa- 
"  vour,  petition  me  to  have  them  confirmed. — 
"  Rather  let  them  leave  me  at  leisure  for  confer- 
"  ring  new  grants ;  under  the  assurance,  that  I 
<e  am  only  to  be  solicited  for  those  bounties  which 
"  have  not  already  been  obtained,  and  which  the 
"  happier  fortune  of  the  empire  has  put  it  in  my 
"  power  to  bestow." 


i  WAVING  publicly  declared  my  resolution  to 
"  confirm  the  edicts  of  my  predecessors,  and 
"  even  those  also  which  may  have  been  prevented 
"  by  their  deaths  from  being  carried  into  effect ; 
"  the  directions  contained  in  Domitian's  rescript 
"  must  be  observed.'* 



FLAVIUS  ARC  ii  IP  PUS  has  conjured  me,  by  all 
my  vows  for  your  prosperity,  and  by  your  immor- 
tal glory,  that  I  would  transmit  to  you  the  me- 
morial which  he  presented  to  me.  I  could  not 
refuse  a  request  pressed  upon  me  in  such  terms ; 
however,  I  acquainted  the  prosecutrix  with  this 


BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  279 

my  intention,  from  whom  I  have  also  received  a 
memorial  on  her  part,  I  have  annexed  them  both 
to  this  letter ;  that  by  hearing,  as  it  were,  each 
party,  you  may  the  better  be  enabled  to  decide. 


IT  is  possible  that  Domitian  might  be  ignorant 
of  the  circumstances  in  which  Archippus  was, 
Avhen  he  wrote  the  letter  so  much  to  that  philo- 
sopher's credit.  However,  it  is  more  agreeable 
to  my  disposition  to  suppose  that  prince  designed 
he  should  be  restored  to  his  former  situation ;  es- 
pecially since  he  so  often  had  the  honour  of  a  sta- 
tue decreed  to  him  by  those,  who  could  not  be  ig- 
norant1 of  the  sentence  pronounced  against  him  by 
the  Proconsul  Paullus.  But  I  do  not  mean  to 
intimate,  my  dear  Pliny,  that  if  any  new  charge 
should  be  brought,  you  should  be  the  less  disposed 
to  hear  his  accusers.  I  have  examined  the  memo- 
rial of  his  prosecutrix,  Furia  Prima,  as.  also  that  of 
Archippus  himself,  which  you  sent  with  your  letter. 


a  In  the  text  of  all  the  editions  it  is  qui  ignorabant,  but  the 
reasoning  seems  to  require  the  negative  particle ;  though  the 
commentators  have  passed  over  the  passage  without  objection. 


s>80  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  X, 


THE  apprehensions  you  express,  Sir,1  that  the 
lake  will  be  in  danger  of  being  entirely  drained, 
if  a  communication  should  be  opened  between 
that  and  the  sea,  by  means  of  the  river,  are  agree- 
able to  that  sagacity  you  so  eminently  possess ; 
but  I  think  I  have  found  a  method  to  obviate 
that  inconvenience.  A  channel  may  be  cut  from 
the  lake  to  the  river,  and  a  narrow  slip  of  land 
left  between  them.  By  these  means  the  water 
in  the  lake  will  not  only  be  preserved  and  kept 
distinct  from  the  river,  but  the  same  purposes  will 
be  answered  as  if  they  were  united ;  for,  it  will 
be  very  easy  to  convey  over  that  little  intervening 
ridge,  whatever  goods  shall  be  brought  down  by 
the  canal.  This  is  a  scheme  which  may  be  pur- 
sued, if  it  should  be  found  necessary  ;  but  I  hope 
there  will  be  no  occasion  to  have  recourse  to  it. — 
For,  in  the  first  place,  the  lake  itself  is  considera- 
bly deep ;  and  in  the  next,  by  damming  up  a 
river  which  runs  from  it  on  the  opposite  side,  and 
turning  its  course  as  we  shall  find  expedient,  the 
same  quantity  of  water  may  still  be  retained. — 
Besides,  there  are  several  little  brooks  near  the 
place  where  it  is  proposed  the  channel  shall  be 


a  See  letters  50  and  51  of  this  book. 

BOOK.  X.  OF  PLINY.1  231 

cut,  which,  if  skilfully  collected,  will  supply  the 
lake  with  water,  in  proportion  to  what  it  shall  dis- 
charge. But  if  you  should  rather  approve  of  the 
channel's  being  extended  farther,  and  cut  nar- 
rower, and  so  conveyed  directly  into  the  sea, 
without  running  into  the  river ;  the  reflux  of  the 
tide  will  return  whatever  it  receives  from  the  lake. 
After  all,  if  the  nature  of  the  place  should  not 
admit  of  any  of  these  schemes,  the  course  of  the 
water  may  he  checked  by  sluices.  These,  how- 
ever, and  many  other  particulars,  will  be  more  skil- 
fully examined  into  by  the  engineer,  whom,  agree- 
ably to  your  promise,  I  hope  you  will  send ;  for 
indeed,  Sir,  it  is  an  enterprise  well  worthy  of  your 
attention  and  magnificence.  In  the  mean  while 
I  have  written  to  the  illustrious  Calpurnius  Macer, 
in  pursuance  of  your  orders,  to  send  me  a  skilful 
engineer  proper  for  this  occasion. 


IT  is  evident,  my  dear  Pliny,  that  neither  your 
prudence  nor  your  care  have  been  wanting  in  this 
affair  of  the  lake  ;  since,  in  order  to  render  it  of 
more  general  benefit,  you  have  provided  so  many 
expedients  against  the  hazard  of  its  being  drained. 
I  leave  it  to  your  own  choice  to  pursue  which- 

T  3  ever 

282  THE  LETTERS  BooicX. 

ever  of  the  schemes  shall  be  thought  most  proper. 
Calpurnius  Macer  will  furnish  you,  no  doubt,  with 
an  engineer,  as  artists  of  that  kind  are  not  want- 
ing in  his  province. 


A  VERY  considerable  question,  Sir,  in  which 
this  whole  province  is  interested,  has  been  lately 
started,  concerning  the  state  and  maintenance  of 
deserted  children.*  I  have  examined  the  consti- 
tutions of  former  Princes  upon  this  head,  but 
not  finding  any  thing  in  them  relating  either  in 
general  or  particular  to  the  Bithynians,  I  thought 
it  necessary  to  apply  to  you  for  your  directions  : 
for,  in  a  point  which  seems  to  require  the  special 
interposition  of  your  authority,  I  could  not  con- 
tent myself  with  following  precedents.  An  edict 
oftheEmpeior  Augustus  (as  pretended)  was  read 
to  me  concerning  one  Annia ;  as  also  a  letter  from 
Vespasian  to  the  Lacedaemonians,  and  another 
from  Titus  to  the  same,  with  one  likewise  from 
him  to  the  Achasans.  At  the  same  time  some 
letters  from  Domitian  were  exhibited  to  me,  di- 
rected to  the  Proconsul  Avidius  Nigrinus,  and 
Armenius  Brocchus,  together  with  one  from  that 


a  That  is,  whether  they   should   be  considered  in  a  state  of 
freedom  or  slavery. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  283 

Prince  to  the  Lacedaemonians  :  but  I  have  not 
transmitted  them  to  you,  as  well  because  they 
were  not  correct  (xand  some  of  them  too  of  suspi- 
cious authority)  as  because  I  imagine  the  true 
copies  are  preserved  in  your  archives. 


IHE  question  concerning  such  children  who 
were  exposed  by  their  parents,  and  afterwards 
preserved  by  others,  and  educated  in  a  state  of 
servitude,  though  born  free,  has  been  frequently 
discussed  ;  but  I  do  not  find  in  the  constitutions 
of  the  Princes  my  predecessors,  any  general  regu- 
lation upon  this  head,  extending  to  all  the  pro- 
vinces. There  are,  indeed,  some  rescripts  of  Do- 
mitian  to  Avidius  Nigrinus  and  Armenius  Broc- 
chus,  which  ought  to  be  observed ;  but  Bithynia 
is  not  comprehended  in  the  provinces  therein 
mentioned.  I  am  of  opinion,  therefore,  that  the 
claims  of  those  who  assert  their  right  of  freedom, 
upon  this  principle,  should  be  allowed  without 
compelling  them  to  purchase  their  liberty  by  re- 
paying the  money  advanced  for  their  maintenance. 




HAVING  been  petitioned  by  certain  persons  to 
grant  them  the  liberty  (agreeably  to  the  practice 
of  former  Proconsuls)  to  remove  the  relics  of  their 
deceased  relations,  suggesting  that  either  their 
monuments  were  decayed  by  age,  or  ruined  by  the 
inundations  of  the  river,  or  for  other  reasons  of 
the  same  kind,  I  thought  proper,  Sir,  knowing 
that,  in  cases  of  this  nature,  it  is  usual  at  Rome  to 
apply  to  the  college  of  priests,  to  consult  you, 
who  are  the  sovereign  of  that  sacred  order,  how 
you  would  have  me  act  in  this  manner. 


IT  will  be  a  hardship  upon  the  provincials  to 
oblige  them  to  address  themselves  to  the  college 
of  priests,  whenever  they  may  have  just  reasons 
for  removing  the  ashes  of  their  ancestors.  In  this 
case,  therefore,  it  will  be  better  you  should  fol- 
low the  example  of  the  governors  your  predeces- 
sors, and  grant  or  deny  them  this  liberty  as  you 

shall  see  reasonable. 


BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  285 



I  HAVE  enquired,  Sir,  at  Prusa,  for  a  proper 
place  on  which  to  erect  the  bath  you  were  pleased 
to  permit  that  city  to  build  ;  and  I  have  found 
.one  to  my  satisfaction.  It  is  upon  the  site  where 
formerly,  I  am  told,  stood  a  very  beautiful  fabric, 
but  which  is  now  entirely  fallen  into  ruins.  By 
fixing  upon  that  spot,  we  shall  gain  the  advantage 
of  ornamenting  the  city  in  a  part  which  at  present 
is  exceedingly  deformed,  and  enlarging  it  at  the 
same  time  without  removing  any  of  the  present 
edifices ;  only  rebuilding  one  which  is  fallen  to 
decay.  There  are  some  circumstances  attending 
this  last  structure,  of  which  it  is  proper  I  should 
inform  you.  Claudius  Polyasnus  bequeathed  it  to 
the  emperor  Claudius  Ca3sar,  with  directions  that 
a  temple  should  be  erected  to  that  prince  in  the 
midst  of  a  piazza ;  and  that  the  remainder  of  the 
edifice  should  be  let  out  in  apartments.  The  city 
received  the  rents  for  a  considerable  time ;  but  the 
piazza,  together  with  the  whole  dome,  partly  by 
having  been  plundered,  and  partly  by  being  neg- 
lected, is  entirely  gone  to  ruin,  and  there  is  now 
scarce  any  thing  remaining,  but  the  ground  upon 
which  it  stood.  If  you  should  think  proper,  Sir, 
either  to  give  or  sell  this  spot  of  ground  to  the  city, 
1  as 


as  it  lies  so  conveniently  for  their  purpose,  they 
will  receive  the  favour  as  the  highest  mark  of  your 
indulgence.  I  intend,  with  your  permission,  to 
place  the  bath  in  the  vacant  area,  and  to  extend 
a  range  of  porticos  with  seats,  in  that  part  where 
the  former  edifice  stood.  This  new  erection  I  de- 
sign to  dedicate  to  you,  by  whose  bounty  it  will 
rise  with  all  the  elegance  and  magnificence  worthy 
of  your  glorious  name.  I  have  sent  you  a  copy  of 
the  will,  by  which,  though  it  is  incorrect,  you  will 
see,  that  Polysenus  left  several  ornamental  articles 
for  the  embellishment  of  this  house ;  but  these 
also  are  lost  with  all  the  rest :  I  will,  however,  make 
the  strictest  enquiry  after  them  that  T  am  able. 


1  HAVE  no  objection  to  the  Prusenses  making  use 
of  the  area,  together  with  the  untenanted  house, 
which  you  say  is  fallen  into  ruins,  for  the  situation 
of  their  bath.  But  it  is  not  sufficiently  clear  by  your 
letter,  whether  the  temple  in  the  centre  of  the 
piazza  was  actually  dedicated  to  Claudius  or  not ; 
for  if  it  were,  it  is  still  consecrated  ground.* 


*  And  consequently  by  the  Roman  laws  unapplicable  to  any 
other  purpose. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  2S7 



I  HAVE  been  pressed  by  some  persons  to  take 
upon  myself  the  cognizance  of  causes  relating  to 
claims  of  freedom  by  birth  right,  agreeably  to  a 
rescript  of  Domitian's  to  Minucius  Rufus,  and  to 
the  practice  of  former  proconsuls.  But  upon 
casting  my  eye  on  the  decree  of  the  senate  con- 
cerning cases  of  this  nature,  I  find  it  only  men- 
tions the  proconsular  provinces/  I  have,  there- 
fore, Sir,  deferred  interfering  in  this  affair,  till  I 
shall  receive  your  commands  how  you  would  have 

me  act. 


*The  Roman  provinces,  in  the  times  of  the  emperors,  were 
of  two  sorts,  and  distinguished  by  the  name  of  the  Provincix 
Casaris,  and  the  Provinciue  Senatus.  The  Provincice  Ccesaris,  or 
Imperial  provinces,  were  such  as  the  emperor,  for  reasons  of 
policy,  reserved  to  his  own  immediate  administration,  or  of  those 
whom  he  thought  proper  to  appoint :  the  Provincia:  Senatus,  or 
proconsular  provinces,  were  such  as  he  left  to  the  government 
of  proconsuls,  or  praetors,  chosen  in  the  ordinary  method  of 
election.  \Vid.  Suet,  in  Aug.  c.  44.  n.  1.]  Of  the  former  kind 
was  Bithynia,  at  the  time  when  our  author  presided  in  that 
province.  Vid.  Masson.  vit.  Plin.  p.  133. 



IF  you  will  send  me  the  decree  of  the  senate, 
which  occasioned  your  doubt,  I  shall  be  able  to 
judge,  whether  it  is  proper  you  should  take  cogni- 
sance of  causes  relating  to  claims  of  freedom  by 



JULIUS  LARGUS,  of  the  province  of  Pontica,* 
(a  person  whom  I  never  saw,  nor  indeed  ever 
heard  his  name  till  lately)  in  confidence,  Sir,  of 
your  distinguishing  judgment  in  my  favour,  has 
intrusted  me  with  the  execution  of  the  last  instance 
of  his  loyalty  towards  you.  He  has  left  me,  by  his 
will,  his  estate  upon  trust,  in  the  first  place  to  re- 
ceive out  of  it,  50,000  sesterces/  for  my  own  use, 
and  to  apply  the  remainder  for  the  benefit  of  the 
cities  of  Heraclea  and  Tios,c  either  by  erecting 
some  public  edifice  dedicated  to  your  honour,  or 

"  A  province  in  Asia,  bordering  upon  the  black  sea,  and,  by 
some  ancient  geographers,  considered  as  one  province  with 

k  About  £AOO  sterling. 

*  Cities  of  Pontus  near  the  Euxineor  black  sea. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  289 

instituting  Athletic  games,  as  I  shall  judge  proper. 
These  games  are  to  be  celebrated  every  five  years, 
and  to  be  called  Trajan's  games.  My  principal 
reason  for  acquainting  you  with  this  bequest  is, 
that  I  may  receive  your  directions  which  of  the 
respective  alternatives  to  choose. 

^  TO  PLINY. 

BY  the  prudent  choice  Julius  Largus  has  made 
of  a  trustee,'  one  would  imagine  he  had  known 
you  perfectly  well.  You  will  consider  then  which 
of  the  alternatives  will  most  tend  to  perpetuate  the 
testator's  memory,  under  the  circumstances  of  the 
respective  cities  ;  and  make  your  option  accord- 


You  acted  agreeably,  Sir,  to  your  usual  consum- 
mate prudence,  when  you  ordered  the  illustrious 
Calpurnius  Macer  to  send  a  legionary  centurion 
to  Byzantium  :a  you  will  consider  whether  the  city 
of  J  uliopolis  does  not  also  deserve  the  same  atten- 
tion ;  which,  though  it  is  extremely  small,  sus- 
tains very  great  burthens,  and  is  so  much  the  more 


*  Constantinople. 


exposed  to  oppressions,  as  it  is  less  capable  of  re- 
sisting them.  Whatever  benefits  you  shall  confer 
upon  that  city,  will  in  effect  be  advantageous  to 
the  whole  countiy  ;  for,  it  is  situated  at  the  en- 
trance of  Bithynia,  and  is  the  town  through  which 
all  who  travel  into  this  province  generally  pass. 



1  HE  circumstances  of  the  city  of  Byzantium  are 
such,  by  the  great  confluence  of  strangers  to  it, 
that  I  thought  it  incumbent  upon  me  to  honour  it 
with  a  legionary  centurion's  guard,  which  was 
always  granted  to  them  in  former  reigns.  But 
if  we  should  distinguish  the  city  of  Juliopolis  in 
the  same  manner,  it  will  be  introducing  a  precedent 
for  many  other  towns,  whose  claim  to  that  favour 
will  rise  in  proportion  to  their  want  of  strength. 
I  have  so  much  confidence,  however,  in  your  ad- 
ministration, as  to  believe  you  will  omit  no  method 
of  protecting  them  from  injuries.  If  any  person 
shall  act  contrary  to  the  discipline  I  have  enjoined, 
let  them  be  instantly  corrected  ;  or  if  they  happen 
to  be  soldiers,  and  their  crimes  should  be  too  enor- 
mous for  immediate  chastisement,  I  would  have 
them  sent  to  their  officers,  with  an  account  of  the 
particular  misdemeanor  you  shall  find  they  have 
corimiitted  :  but  if  the  delinquents  should  be  on 
their  way  to  Rome,  inform  me  by  letter. 





Bra  law  of  Pompey's,*  concerning  the  Bithy- 
nians,  it  is  enacted,  Sir,  that  no  person  shall  be  a 
magistrate,  or  be  chosen  into  the  senate  under  the 
age  of  thirty.      By  the  same  law  it  is  declared, 
that  those  who  have  exercised  the  office  of  magis- 
trate, are  qualified  to  be  members  of  the  senate. — 
Subsequent  to  this  law,   the  Emperor  Augustus 
published  an  edict,  by  which  it  was  ordained,  that 
persons  of  the  age  of  twenty-two  should  be  capa- 
ble of  being  magistrates.    The  question,  therefore, 
is,  whether  those  who  have  exercised  the  functions 
of  a  magistrate  before  the  age  of  thirty,  may  be  le- 
gally chosen   into   the   senate  by  the  Censors  ?b 
And  if  so,   whether,   by  the  same  kind  of  con- 
struction, they  may  be  elected  senators,  at  the  age 
which  entitles  them  to  be  magistrates,  though  they 
should  not  actually  have  borne  any  office  ?  For 
this  custom,  it  seems,  has  hitherto  been  observed, 


*  Pompey  the  Great  having  su,bdued  Mithridates,  and  by  that 
means  greatly  enlarged  the  Roman  empire,  passed  several  laws 
relating  to  the  newly-conquered  provinces,  and,  among  others, 
that  which  is  here  mentioned  ;  as  Catanreus  observes  from 

b  The  right  of  electing  senators  did  not  originally  belong  to 
the  censors,  who  were  only,  as  Tully  somewhere  calls  them, 
Guardians  of  the  discipline  and  manners  of  the  city  ;  but  in  pro- 
cess of  time,  they  engrossed  the  whole  privilege  of  conferring 
that  honour. 


is  said  to  be  expedient ;  as  it  is  rather  more  ad- 
vantageous that  persons  of  noble  birth  should  be 
admitted  into  the  senate,  than  those  of  Plebeian 
rank.  The  censors  elect  having  desired  my  senti- 
ments upon  this  point,  I  was  of  opinion,  that 
both  by  the  law  of  Pompey,  and  the  edict  of 
Augustus,  they  who  had  exercised  the  magistracy 
before  the  age  of  thirty,  might  be  chosen  into  the 
senate;  and  for  this  reason,  because  the  edict 
allows  the  office  of  magistrate  to  be  undertaken 
before  thirty,  and  the  law  declares,  that  whoever 
lias  been  a  magistrate,  should  be  eligible  into  the 
senate.  But  with  respect  to  those  who  never  dis- 
charged any  office  in  the  state,  though  they  were 
of  the  age  required  for  that  purpose,  I  had  some 
doubt ;  and  therefore,  Sir,  I  apply  to  you  for  your 
directions.  I  have  subjoined  to  this  letter  the 
heads  of  the  law,  together  with  the  edict  of 







I  AGREE  with  you,  my  dear  Pliny,  in  your  con- 
struction; and  am  of  opinion  that  the  law  qf 
Pompey  is  so  far  repealed  by  the  edict  of  the 
emperor  Augustus,  that  those  persons  who  are 
not  under  twenty-two  years  of  age  may  execute 
the  office  of  magistrates,  and  t>e  received  into 
the  senate  of  their  respective  cities.  But  I  think 
that  they  who  are  under  thirty,  years  of  age,  an,d 
have  not  discharged  the  function  of  a  magistrate, 
cannot,  upon  pretence  that  in  point  of  years  they 
were  competent  to  the  office,  legally  be  elected 
into  the  senate  of  their  several  communities. 


\VniLST  I  was  dispatching  at  my  apartments 
in  Prusa,a  some  affairs,  Sir,  relating  to  the  pub- 
lic, with  an  intention  of  leaving  that  city  the 
same  day,  Asclepiades,  a  magistrate,  informed 
me,  that  Eumolpus  had  appealed  to  me  from  a 
motion  which  Cocceianus  Dion  made  in  their  se- 

*  At  the  foot  of  Mount  Olympus. 

VOL.  II.  U 


nate.  Dion,  it  seems,  having  been  appointed  su- 
pervisor of  a  public  edifice,  desired  that  it  might 
be  assigned b  to  the  city  in  form,  Eumolpus,  who 
attended  as  counsel  for  Flavins  Archippus,  insist- 
ed that  Dion  should  first  be  required  to  deliver 
in  his  accounts  relating  to  this  work,  before  it 
should  be  assigned  to  the  corporation ;  suggest- 
ing that  he  had  not  performed  his  office  in  a  re- 
quisite manner.  He  added,  at  the  same  time, 
that  in  this  building,  in  which  your  statue  is 
erected,  the  bodies  of  Dion's  wife  and  son  are 
entombed  : c  and  urged  me  to  hear  this  cause  in 
the  public  court  of  judicature.  Upon  my  as- 
senting to  his  request,  and  deferring  my  journey 
for  that  purpose,  he  desired  a  longer  day  in  or- 
der to  prepare  matters  for  the  hearing,  and  that 
I  would  try  this  cause  in  some  other  city.  I  ap- 
pointed the  city  of  Nicea;  and  accordingly  hav- 
ing taken  my  seat  on  the  tribunal,  Eumolpus, 
pretending  not  to  be  yet  sufficiently  prepared, 


b  This,  probably,  was  some  act  whereby  the  city  was  to  rati- 
fy and  confirm  ihe  proceedings  of  Dion  under  the  commission 
assigned  to  him. 

c  It  was  a  notion  which  generally  prevailed  with  the  ancients, 
in  the  Jewish  as  well  as  Heathen  world,  tbat  there  was  a  pollu- 
tion in  the  contact  of  dead  bodies,  and  this  they  extended  to 
ihe  very  hou^e  in  whicb  the  corpse  lay,  and  even  to  the  unco, 
vered  vessels  that  stood  in  the  sume  room.  \ViA.  Pot.  Antiq. 
V.  2.  188.]  From  some  such  opinion  as  this  it  is  probable,  that 
the  circumstance  here  mentioned  of  placing  Trajan's  statue 
where  these  bodies  were  deposited,  was  esteemed  as  a  mark  of 
disrespect  to  his  person. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  295 

moved  that  the  trial  might  be  again  put  off:  Di- 
on, on  the  contrary,  insisted  it  should  be  now 
heard.  They  debated  this  point  very  fully  on 
both  sides,  and  entered  a  little  into  the  merits  of 
the  cause ;  when  being  of  opinion,  that  it  was 
reasonable  it  should  be  adjourned,  and  thinking 
it  proper  to  advise  with  you  in  an  affair  which 
was  of  consequence  in  point  of  example,  I  clirect- 
,ed  them  to  exhibit  the  articles  of  their  respective 
allegations,  in  writing :  for,  I  was  desirous  you 
should  judge  from  their  own  express  representa- 
tions, of  the  state  of  the  question  between  them. 
Dion  promised  to  comply  with  this  direction;  as 
Eumolpus  also  assured  me  he  would  draw  up  a 
memorial  of  what  he  had  to  alledge  on  the  part  of 
the  community.  But  he  added,  that  being  only 
concerned  as  advocate  on  behalf  of  Archippus, 
whose,  instructions  he  had  alreadv  laid  before  me. 

w  • 

he  had  nothing  to  charge  with  respect  to  the  se- 
pulchres. Archippus,  however,  for  whom  Eu- 
molpus was  counsel  here,  as  at  Prusa,  assured  me 
he  would  himself  present  a  charge  in  form  with 
respect  to  this  last  article.  But  neither  Eumol- 
pus nor  Archippus  (though  I  have  waited  several 
days  for  that  purpose;  have  yet  performed  their 
engagement:  Dion  indeed  has;  and  I  have  an- 
nexed his  memorial  to  this  letter.  I  have  in- 
spected the  buildings  in  question,  where  I  find 
your  statue  is  placed  in  a  library  ;  and  as  to  the 

U  2  edifice 

20.6  THE  LETTERS  BooicX. 

edifice  in  which  the  bodies  of  Dion's  wife  and  son 
are  said  to  be  deposited,  it  stands  in  the  middle 
of  an  area  surrounded  with  a  colonade.  Deign, 
therefore,  I  entreat  you,  Sir,  to  direct  my  judg- 
ment in  the  determination  of  this  cause  above 
all  others,  as  it  is  a  point  to  which  the  public  is 
greatly  attentive.  And,  indeed,  it  highly  de- 
serves a  very  mature  deliberation,  since  the  fact 
'-is  not  only  acknowledged,  but  countenanced  by 
many  precedents. 


•  I  ou  well  know,  my  dear  Pliny,  that  it  is  my 
fixed  maxim  not  to  render  myself  an  object  of 
terror,  either  by  severe  and  rigorous  measures  of 
government,  or  by  encouraging  accusations  of 
treason  against  the  respect  due  to  my  person: 
you  had  no  reason,  therefore,  to  hesitate  a  mo- 
ment upon  the  point,  concerning  which  you 
thought  proper  to  consult  me.  Without  entering 
into  the  merits  of  the  question,  (to  which  I  would 
by  no  means  give  any  attention,  though  there 
were  ever  so  many  instances  of  the  same  kind)  I 
recommend  to  your  care  the  examining  of  Dion's 
accounts  relating  to  the  public  works  which  he 
4  ,  has 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  297 

has  finished  ;  as  it  is  a  case  in  which  the  interest 
of  the  city  is  concerned,  and  as  Dion  neither 
ought,  nor,  it  seems,  does  refuse,  to  .submit  to 
the  examination. 


1  HE  Niceans  having,  in  the  name  of  their  com- 
munity, conjured  me,  Sir,  by  all  my  hopes  and 
wishes  for  your  prosperity  and  immortal  glory 
(an  adjuration  which  is  and  ought  to  be  most 
sacred  to  me)  to  present  to  you  their  petition:  I 
did  not  think  myself  at  liberty  to  refuse  them  :  I 
have  therefore  annexed  it  to  this  letter. 


1  HE  Niceans,  I  find,  claim  a  right,  by  an  edict 
of  Augustus,  to  the  estate  of  every  citizen  who 
dies  intestate.  You  will  therefore  summon  the 
several  parties  interested  in  this  question,  and 
with  the  assistance  of  Epimachus  and  Gemelli- 
nus,  my  Procurators  (having  duly  weighed  every 
argument  that  shall  be  alledged  against  the  claim) 
determine  as  shall  appear  most  equitable. 

U  3  LET- 



MAY  this  and  many  succeeding  birth-days  be 
attended,  Sir,  with  the  highest  felicity  to  you  ; 
and  may  you,  in  the  midst  of  an  uninterrupted 
course  of  health  and  prosperity,  be  still  adding 
to  the  increase  of  that  immortal  glory,  which 
your  virtues  justly  merit ! 


YOUR  wishes,  my  dear  Pliny,  for  my  enjoy- 
ment of  many  happy  birth-days  amidst  the  glory 
and  prosperity  of  the  republic,  were  extremely 
agreeable  to  me. 



THE  city  of  Sinope*  is  ill  supplied,  Sir,  with 
water,  which,  however,  may  be  brought  thither 
from  about  sixteen  miles  distance,  in  great  plen- 
ty and  perfection.  The  ground,  indeed,  near  the 
source  of  the  spring,  is,  for  somewhat  more  than 

a  mile, 

«  In  the  province  of  Pontica. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  299 


a  mile,  of  a  very  suspicious  and  loose  nature; 
but  I  have  directed  an  examination  to  be  made 
(which  will  be  effected  at  a  small  expence)  whe- 
ther it  is  sufficiently  firm  to  support  any  super- 
structure. I  have  taken  care  to  provide  a  suita- 
ble fund  for  this  purpose,  if  you  should  approve, 
Sir,  of  a  work  so  conducive  to  the  health  and 
pleasure  of  this  colony,  greatly  distressed  by  a 
scarcity  of  water. 


I  TTOULD  have  you  proceed,  my  dear  Pliny,  in 
carefully  examining,  whether  the  ground  you 
suspect,  is  firm  enough  to  support  an  aqueduct. 
For,  I  have  no  manner  of  doubt  that  it  is  proper 
the  city  of  Sinope  should  be  supplied  with  wa- 
ter; provided  their  finances  will  bear  the  ex- 
pence  of  a  work  so  conducive  to  their  health  and 



IHE  free  and  confederate  city  of  Amisus  *  en- 
joys, by  your  indulgence,  the  privilege  of  being 
governed  by  its  own  laws.  A  memorial  having 

U  4  been 

*  A  colony  of  Athenians  in  the  province  of  Pontica. 


been  there  presented  to  me  concerning  a  cha- 
ritable institution, b  I  have  subjoined  it  to  this' 
letter,  that  you  may  consider,  Sir,  whether,  and 
how  far  this  society  ought  to  be  licenced  or  pro- 


IF  the  .prayer  of  the  petition  of  the  Amiseni 
which  you  have  transmitted  to  me,  concerning 
the  establishment  of  a  charitable  society,  be 
agreeable  to  their  own  laws,  which  by  the  arti- 
cles of  alliance  it  is  stipulated  they  shall  enjoy, 
I  shall  not  oppose  it;  especially  if  these  contri- 
butions are  employed,  not  for  the  purposes  of 
riot  and  faction,  but  for  the  support  of  the  in- 
digent. In  other  cities,  however,  which  are 
subject  to  our  laws,  I  would  have  all  assemblies 
of  this  nature  prohibited. 

b  The  learned  Casaubon,  in  his  observations  upon  Theo- 
phrastus  (as  cited  by  one  of  the  commentators)  informs  us  that 
there  were  at  Athens  and  other  cities  of  Greece,  certain  frater- 
nities which  paid  into  a  common  chest  a  monthly  contribu- 
tion towards  the  support  of  such  of  their  members  who  had 
ullen  into  misfortunes ;  upon  condition  that  ifrvctr  they  arriv- 
ed to  more  prosperous  circumstance.?,  they  should  repay  into  the 
general  fund  the  money  so  advanced. 

'BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  301 


SUETONIUS  Tranquillus,  Sir,  is  a  person  of 
great  probity  and  learning,  as  well  as  of  noble 
birth.  I  was  so  much  pleased  with  his  disposition, 
and  manners,  that  I  have  long  since  invited  him 
into  my  family,  as  my  constant  guest  and  do- 
mestic friend;  and  my  affection  for  him  increased 
the  more  I  discovered  of  his  character.  Two 
reasons  concur  to  render  the  privilege3  which  the 


*  By  the  law  for  encouragement  of  matrimony(some  account  of 
which  has  already  been  given  in  the  notes  above)  those  who  lived 
bachelors,  were  declared  incapable  of  inheriting  any  legacy  by 
will ;  so  likewise  if  being  married,  they  had  no  children,  they 
could  not  claim  the  full  ad  vantage  of  benefactions  of  that  kind  :* 
Thus  Naevolus,  in  Juvenal,  very  humorously  urges  his  gallan- 
tries in  his  friend's  family,  as  a  meritorious  piece  of  service 
which  he  had  done  him. 

Nullumergo  mcritum  est,  irtgrate  ac  petfide,  nullum,, 
Quod  t/bi  jiiiolus,  vcljilia  "uisciiur  ex  me  ? — 
Jura  pare/ids  hales  ;  proptcr  me  scriberis  hcres  ; 
Lcgatum  omne  capis,  necnon  <$•  didcc  caducurq* 

Sat.  9.  v.  82,  &c. 

And  ow'st  thou  nothing  then,  ingrate  !  to  me, 
That  from  my  loitis  you  sons  and  daughters  sec  ? 
A  parent's  privilege  by  me  you  gain, 
And  the  rich  legacy  in  full  obtain. 

Pliny  therefore  alludes  to  this  law,  when  he  mentions  the  boun- 
ties of   Tranquillus's  deceased  friends,  as  one  reason  why  it  was 
expedient  for  him  to  obtain  \\\rjus  Irhim  liberorunt>  viz.  in  order 
to  entitle  him  to  the  full  benefit  of  their  several  bequests. 
*  Lipsii  excurs.  in  Tat-,  an.  3.  t.  -K 

302  THE  LETTERS          BOOK  X. 

law  grants  to  those  who  have  three  children,  par- 
ticularly necessary  to  him  ;  I  mean  the  bounty  of 
his  friends,  and  the  ill  success  of  his  marriage. 
Those  advantages  therefore,  which  nature  has  de- 
nied to  him,he  hopes  to  obtain  from  your  goodness, 
by  my  intercession.  I  am  thoroughly  sensible, 
Sir,  of  the  value  of  the  privilege  I  am  asking;  but 
I  know  too  I  am  asking  it  from  one,  whose  gra- 
cious compliance  with  all  my  desires,  I  have  am- 
ply experienced.  How  passionately  I  wish  to  do 
so  in  the  present  instance,  you  will  judge  by  rny 
thus  requesting  it  in  my  absence :  which  I  would 
not,  had  it  not  been  a  favour  which  I  am  more 
than  commonly  anxious  to  obtain. 


You  cannot  but  be  perfectly  sensible,  my  dear 
Pliny,  how  reserved  I  am  in  granting  favours  of 
the  kind  you  desire ;  having  frequently  declared 
in  the  senate,  that  I  had  not  exceeded  the  number 
which  I  assured  that  illustrious  order  I  would  be 
contented  with.  I  have  yielded,  however,  to  your 
request;  and  have  directed  it  to  be  inserted  in  my 
register,  that  I  have  conferred  upon  Tranquillus, 
on  my  usual  conditions,  the  privilege  which  the  law 
grants  to  those  who  have  three  children. 


BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  303 



IT  is  a  rule,  Sir,  which  I  inviolably  observe,    to 
refer  myself  to  you  in  all  my  doubts ;  for,  who  is 
more  capable  of  removing  my  scruples,    or  in- 
forming my  ignorance  r    Having  never  been  pre- 
sent at  any  trials  concerning  those  persons  who 
are  Christians,    I  am  unacquainted  not  only  with 
the  nature  of  their  crimes,  or  the  measure  of  their 
punishment,   but  how  far  it  is  proper  to  enter  in- 
to an  examination  concerning  them.     Whether 
therefore  any  difference  is  usually  made  with  re- 
spect to  the  ages  of  the  guilty,  or  no  distinction 
is  to  be  observed   between  the  young  and  the 
adult:  whether  repentance  intitles  them  to  a  par- 
don ;    or  if  a  man  has  been  once  a  Christian,  it 
avails  nothing  to  desist  from  his  error;  whether  the 
very  profession  of  Christianity,   unattended  with 
any  criminal  act,  or  only  the  crimes  themselves  in- 

a  This  letter  is  esteemed  as  almost  the  only  genuine  monu- 
ment of  ecclesiastical  antiquity  relating  to  the  times  immedi- 
ately succeeding  the  apostles,  it  being  written  not  above  forty 
years  at  most  after  the  death  of  St.  Paul.  It  was  preserved 
by  the  Christians  themselves  as  a  clear  and  unsuspicious  evi- 
dence of  the  purity  of  their  doctrines  ;  and  is  frequently  ap- 
pealed to  by  the  early  writers  of  the  church  against  the  calumnies 
of  their  adversaries. 


hercnt  in  the  profession  are  punishable;  in  all  these 
paints  I  am  greatly  doubtful.  In  the  mean  while 
the  method  I  have  observed  towards  those  who 
have  been  brought  before  me  as  Christians,  is 
this :  I  interrogated  them  whether  they  were 
Christians:  if  they  confessed,  I  repeated  the  ques- 
tion twice,  adding  threats  at  the  same  time; 
and  if  they  still  persevered,  I  ordered  them  to 
be  immediately  punished.  For,  I  was  persuaded, 
-whatever  the  nature  of  their  opinions  might 
be,  a  contumacious  and  inflexible  obstinacy  cer- 
tainly deserved  correction.  There  were  others 
also  brought  before  me  possessed  with  the  same 
infatuation,  but  being  citizens  of  Rome,b  I  di- 
rected that  they  should  be  conveyed  thither.  But 
this  crime  spreading  (as  is  usually  the  case)  while  it 
was  actually  under  prosecution,  several  instances 
of  the  same  nature  occurred.  An  information 
was  presented  to  me  without  any  name  subscribed, 
containing  a  charge  against  several  persons:  these, 
upon  examination,  denied  they  were,  or  ever  had 
been,  chris tains.  They  repeated  after  me  an  in- 
vocation to  the  gods,  and  offered  religious  rites 
with  wine  and  frankincense  before  your  statue; 


b  It  was  one  of  the  privileges  of  a  Roman  citizen,  secured 
by  the  Sernpronian  law,  that  he  could  not  be  capitally  convicted 
but  by  the  suffrage  of  the  people;  which  seems  to  have  been 
still  so  far  in  force,  as  to  make  it  necessary  to  send  the  persons 
here  mentioned  to  Rome. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  305 

(which  for  that  purpose  I  had  ordered  to  be 
brought  together  -with  those  of  the  Gods)  and 
even  reviled  the  name  of  Christ;  whereas  there  is 
'no  forcing,  it  is  said,  those  who  are  really  chris- 
•tians,  into  any  of  these  compliances.  I  thought  it 
proper,  therefore,  to  discharge  them.  Someamong 
those  who  were  accused  by  a  witness  in  person, 
at  first  confessed  themselves  Christians,  but  imme- 
diately after  denied  it;  the  rest  owned  indeed 
.they  had  been  of  that  number  formerly,  but  hail 
now  (some  above  three,  others  more,  and  a  few 
above  twenty  years  ago)  renounced  that  error. 
They  all  worshipped  your  statue  and  the  images 
of  the  Gods,  uttering  imprecations  at  the  same 
time  against  the  name  of  Christ.  They  affirmed 
the  whole  of  their  guilt,  or  their  error,  was,  that 
they  met  on  a  certain  stated  day  before  it  was 
light,  and  addressed  themselves  in  a  form  of 

O         ' 

p raver  to  Christ,  as  to  some  god,  binding  them- 
selves by  a  solemn  oath,  not  for  the  purposes  of 
any  wicked  design,  but  never  to  commit  any 
fraud,  theft,  or  adultery ;  never  to  falsify  their 
word,  nor  deny  a  trust  when  they  should  be  cal- 
led upon  to  deliver  it  up  :  after  which,  it  was  their 
custom  to  separate,  and  then  re-assemble,  to  eat 
in  common  a  harmless  meal.  From  this  custom, 
however,  they  desisted  after  the  publication  of 



my  edict,  by  which,  according  to  your  com- 
mnds,  I  forbade  the  meeting  of  any  assemblies. 
In  consequence  of  this  their  declaration,  I  judged 
it  the  more  necessary  to  endeavour  to  extort  the 
real  truth,  by  putting  two  female  slaves  to  the 
torture,  who  were  said  to  officiate11  in  their  religious 
functions ;  but  all  I  could  discover  was,  that  these 
people  were  actuated  by  an  absurd  and  excessive 
superstition,  I  deemed  it  expedient,  therefore  to 
adjourn  all  farther  proceedings,  in  order  to  con- 
sult you.  For,  it  appears  to  be  a  matter  highly 
deserving  your  consideration ;  more  especially  as 
great  numbers  must  be  involved  in  the  danger  of 
these  prosecutions,  which  have  already  extended 
and  are  still  likely  to  extend,  to  persons  of  all 
ranks  and  ages,  and  even  of  both  sexes.  In  fact, 
this  contagious  superstition  is  not  confined  to  the 
cities  only,  but  has  spread  its  infection  among 
the  neighbouring  villages  and  country.  Never- 
theless, it  still  seems  possible  to  restrain  its  pro- 
gress. The  temples,  at  least,  which  were  once 
almost  deserted,  begin  now  to  be  frequented  ;  and 
the  sacred  solemnities,  after  a  long  intermission, 


a  These  women,  it  is  supposed,  exercised  the  same  office  as 
Phoebe,  mentioned  by  St.  Paul, whom  he  styles  Deaconess  of  the 
church  of  Cenchrea.  Their  business  was  to  tend  the  poor  and 
sick,  and  other  charitable  offices  ;  as  also  to  assist  at  the  cere- 
mony of  female  baptism,  for  the  more  decent  performance  of 
that  rite :  as  Vossius  observes  upon  this  passage. 

BOOK.  X.  OF  PLINY.  307 

are  revived  ;  to  which  I  must  add,  there  is  again 
also  a  general  demand  for  the  victims,  which  for 
some  time  past  had  met  with  but  few  purchasers. 
From  the  circumstances  I  have  mentioned,  it  is 
easy  to  conjecture  what  numbers  might  be  re- 
claimed, if  a  general  pardon  were  granted  to 
those  who  shall  repent  of  their  error. 



THE  method  you  have  pursued,  my  dear  Pliny, 
in  the  proceedings  against  those  Christians  which 
were  brought  before  you,  is  extremely  proper;  as 
it  is  not  possible  to  lay  down  any  fixed  rule  by 
which  to  act  in  all  cases  of  this  nature.  But  I 
would  not  have  you  officiously  enter  into  any  en- 
quiries concerning  them.  If  indeed,  they  should 
be  brought  before  you,  and  the  crime  should  be 
proved,  they  must  be  punished3 ;  with  this  re- 
striction, however,  that  where  the  party  denies  he 
is  a  Christian,  and  shall  make  it  evident  that  he  is 


*  If  we  impartially  examine  the  present  instance  of  the  per- 
secution of  the  Christians,  we  shall  find  it  to  have  been  ground- 
ed on  the  ancient  constitution  of  the  state,  and  not  to  have 
proceeded  from  an  arbitrary  or  intolerant  spirit  in  Trajan. 
The  Roman  legislature  appears  to  have  been  early  jealous  of 
any  innovation  in  point  ot  public  worship ;  and  we  rind  the 



not  by  invoking  our  gods  ;  let  him  (notwith- 
standing any  former  suspicion)  be  pardoned  upon 
his  repentance.  Informations  without  the  accu- 
sers name  subscribed,  ought  not  to  he  received  in 


magistrates,  during  the  old  republic,  frequently  interposing  in 
cases  of  that  nature.  Valerius  Maximus  has  collected  some 
instances  to  that  purpose,  [L.  1.  c.  3.]  and  Livy  mentions  it  as 
an  established  principle  of  the  earlier  ages  of  the  common- 
wealth, to  guard  against  the  introduction  of  foreign  ceremo- 
nies of  religion.  Quoties  (says  that  excellent  historian,  speak- 
ing in  the  person  of  one  of  the  consuls  who  is  addressing  him- 
self to  the  people)  quoties  hoc  pa/ rum  arorumque  estate  negotiant 
est  magistratibus  datum,  fit  sacra  externa  fieri  vetarent  ?  Judi- 
cabant  cnim  prudent  isshni  viri — nihil  <Z(]iie  dissohendoe  rcligionis 
csse,  quam  ubi  non  patrio,  sed  cxterno  ritit  sacrificaretur.  [L.  39- 
c.  16'.]  It  was  an  old  and  invariable  maxim  likewise  of  the 
Roman  government,  not  to  suffer  any  unlicensed  assemblies 
of  the  people  ;  us  the  reader  must  have  observed  by  several 
of  the  preceding  letters  in  this  book  :  and  to  that  fact  Livy 
also  bears  witness :  Majores  -ccstri  ('ays  the  historian)  ne  i'os 
quidem  nisi  qiuun,  &c.  forte  tenure  coire  nolucrunt ;  $•  •ubicun- 
qve  nudtitudo  esset,  ibi  et  legitimum  recturum  multitudinis  cense- 
bant  debereesse.  [L.  36.  c.  25.] 

The  circumstance  that  attended  the  Christian  assemblies  be- 
ing held  at  an  unusual  hour  (ante  lucem,)  seems  to  have  raised 
a  surmise,  that  they  were  of  the  Bacchanalian  kind.  For  it. is 
extremely  observable,  that  in  the  account  which  the  Christians 
here  give  of  the  true  design  of  th*eir  meeting,  they  justify 
themselves  from  the  very  crimes  ,  with  which  the  Bacchana- 
lians had  been  charged  ;  intimating,  it  should  seem,  that  they 
themselves  had  been  taxed  with  the  same :  se  sacramento  non 
ad  sc.elus  aliquod  obstringcre  ;  std  ne  furta,  ne  latrocinia,  ne 
adulteria  committerent,  nejidem  fallcrent,  &c.  which  runs  ex- 
actly parallel  with  the  accusation  against  the  Bacchanalians,  as 
it  stands  in  Livy  :  Nee  unum  genus  noxce,  stupra promiscua,  &c. 
tedfalsi  testes,  falsa  signa  testiwoniaquc  §•  indicia  ex  eadem  of/icina 
exibant.  [Liv.  1.  3.9.  c.  8.] 

Upon  the  whole  then  it  appears  evident,  that  these  primitive 
Christians,  deeply  impressed  with  the  evidence  of  the  holy  reli- 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  309 

prosecutions  of  any  sort ;  as  it  is  introducing  a 
very  dangerous  precedent,  and  by  no  means 
agreeable  to  the  equity  of  my  government. 



IHE  elegant  and  beautiful  city  of  Amastris*, 
Sir,  has,  among  other  capital  buildings,  a  most 
noble  and  extensive  piazza.  On  one  entire  side 
of  this  structure  runs,  what  is  called,  indeed,  a 
river,  but,  in  effect,  is  no  other  than  a  vile  com- 
mon sewer,  extremely  offensive  to  the  eye,  and, 
at  the  same  time,  very  unwholesome  by  its  noxi- 
ous vapours.  It  will  be  advantageous,  therefore, 
in  point  of  health,  as  well  as  ornament,  to  have  it 
covered  ;  which  shall  be  .done,  with  your  per- 
mission :  as  I  will  take  care,  on  my  part,  that 
money  be  not  wanting  for  executing  so  noble  and 

necessary  a  work. 


gion  they  professed,  nobly  dared,  at  all  hazard,  to  render  them- 
selves obnoxious,  not  particularly  indeed  to  Trajan,  but  to  the 
ancient  and  intolerant  laws  <>i  the  slate;  by  refusing  to  join  in 
communion  with  the  established  worship,  by  assembling  them- 
selves without  legal  authority,  and  by  holding  their  meetings  at 
a  suspicious  hour  of  the  night. 

a  Situated  on  the  black  sea,  in  the  province  of  Pontus. 

VOL.  II.  X 



IT  is  highly  reasonable,  my  dear  Pliny,  if  the 
water  which  runs  through  the  city  of  Amastris  is 
prejudicial  to  the  health  of  the  inhabitants,  that  it 
should  be  covered.  I  am  well  assured  you  wih> 
with  your  usual  attention,  take  care  that  the  mo- 
ney, necessary  for  this  work,  shall  not  be  wanting. 


VV  K  have  celebrated,  Sir,  with  great  joy  and  fes- 
tivity, those  votive  solemnities  which  were  pub- 
licly proclaimed  as  formerly,  and  renewed  them 
the  present  year,  accompanied  by  the  soldiers  and 
provincials  ;  who  zealously  joined  with  us  in  im- 
ploring the  Gods,  that  they  would  be  graciously 
pleased  to  preserve  you  and  the  republic  in  that 
state  of  prosperity,  which  your  many  and  great 
virtues,  particularly  your  piety  towards  them,  so 

justly  merit. 


BOOKX.  OF  PLINY.  311 



JT  was  very  agreeable  to  me  to  learn,  by  your 
letter,  that  the  army  and  the  provincials  joyfully 
seconded  you  with  great  unanimity,  in  those 
vows  which  you  paid  and  renewed  to  the  immor- 
tal Gods,  for  my  preservation  and  prosperity. 



WE  have  celebrated,  with  all  the  warmth  of  that 
pious  zeal  we  justly  ought,  the  day  in  which,  by 
a  very  happy  succession,  the  protection  of  the 
empire  was  delivered  into  your  hands;  recom- 
mending to  the  Gods,  by  whose  gracious  favour 
you  received  the  sovereignty,  the  object  of  our 
public  vows  and  congratulations. 



I  WAS  extremely  well  pleased  to  be  informed  by 
your  letter  that  you  had,  at  the  head  of  the  sol- 
diers and  the  provincials,  solemnized  my  acces- 
sion to  the  empire,  with  all  due  joy  and  zeal. 





VALERIUS  PAULINUS,  Sir,  having  bequeathed 
to  me  the  right  of  patronage*  over  all  his  freed- 
men,  except  one ;  I  entreat  you  to  grant  the 
freedom  of  Rome  to  three  of  them.  To  desire 
you  to  extend  this  favour  to  all  of  them,  would,  I 
fear,  be  too  unreasonable  a  trespass  upon  your 
indulgence ;  which,  having  amply  experienced,  I 
ought  to  be  so  much  the  more  cautious  in 
troubling.  The  persons  for  whom  I  make  this 
request  are,  C.  Valerius  JEstiaeus,  C.  Valerius 
Dionysius,  and  C.  Valerius  Aper. 



You  act  in  a  most  worthy  manner,  by  consult- 
ing the  interest  of  those  persons  whom  Valerius 
Paulinos  has  confided  to  your  trust ;  I  cannot, 
therefore,  but  encourage  you,  as  far  as  depends 


a  By  the  Papian  la\v,  which  passed  in  the  consulship  of  M. 
Pnpius  Mutilus  arid  Q.  Poppeas  Secumlus,  U.  C.  J6l.  if  a 
freedman  died  worth  a  hundred  thousand  sesterces,  (or  about 
8001.  of  our  money)  leaving  only  one  child  ;  his  patron,  (that 
is,  the  master  from  whom  he  received  his  liberty)  was  entitled 
to  half  his  estate;  if  he  left  two  children,  to  one  third  ;  but  if 
more  than  two,  the  patron  was  absolutely  excluded.  This  was 
afterwards  altered  by  Justinian,  lust.  I.  3.  tit.  $. 


BooKX.  OF  PLINY.  ,313 

upon  me,  to  lose  no  time  for  that  purpose.  I 
have  accordingly  granted  the  freedom  of  the  city 
to  such  of  his  freedmcn,  for  whom  you  requested 
it,  and  have  directed  the  patent  to  be  registered  : 
I  am  ready  to  confer  the  same  on  the  rest,  when- 
ever you  shall  desire  mo. 



r.  Accius  AQUILA,  captain  of  the  sixth 
equestrian  cohort,  requested  me,  Sir,  to  transmit 
his  petition  to  you,  in  favour  of  his  daughter.  I 
thought  it  would  be  unkind  to  refuse  him  this 
good  office,  knowing,  as  I  do,  with  what  patience 
and  humanity  you  attend  to  the  petitions  of  the 


1  HAVE  read  the  petition  of  P.  Accius  Aquila, 
captain  of  the  sixth  equestrian  cohort,  which  you 
sent  to  me  ;  and,  in  compliance  with  his  request, 
I  have  conferred  upon  his  daughter  the  freedom 
of  the  city  of  Rome.  I  send  you,  at  the  same 
time,  the  patent,  which  you  will  deliver  to  him. 





I  REQUEST,  Sir,  your  directions  with  respect  to 
the  recovering  of  those  debts  which  are  due  to  the 
cities  of  Bithynia  and  Pontus,  either  for  rent,  or 
goods  sold,  or  for  any  other  consideration.  I  find 
they  have  a  privilege  conceded  to  them  by  seve- 
ral pro-consuls,  of  being  preferred  to  other  credi- 
tors; and  this  custom  has  prevailed,  as  if  it  had 
been  established  by  law.  Your  prudence,  I  ima- 
gine, will  think  it  necessary  to  enact  some  settled 
rule,  by  which  their  rights  may  always  be  secured. 
For  the  edicts  of  others,  how  wisely  soever  found- 
ed, are  but  feeble  and  temporary  ordinances,  un- 
less confirmed  and  sanctioned  by  your  authority. 



IHE  right  which  the  cities  either  of  Pontus 
or  Bithynia  claim  relating  to  the  recovery  of 
debts  of  whatever  kind,  due  to  their  several  com- 
munities, must  be  determined  agreeably  to  their 
respective  laws.  Where  any  of  those  communi- 
ties enjoy  the  privilege  of  being  preferred  to  other 
creditors,  it  must  be  maintained ;  but  where  no  such 
privilege  prevails,  it  would  not  be  just  that  I  should 
establish  one,  in  prejudice  of  private  property. 


BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  315 



I  HE  solicitor  to  the  treasury  of  the  city  of  Ami- 
sis,  instituted  a  claim,  Sir,  before  me,  against  Ju- 
lius Piso  of  about  40,000  denarii*,   which  were 
presented  to  him  by  the  public  above   twenty 
years  ago,  with  the  consent  of  the  general  council 
and  assembly  of  the  city  :  and  he  founded  his  de- 
mand upon  certain  of  your  edicts,  by  which  dona- 
tions of  this  kind  are  prohibited.     Piso,  on  the 
other  hand,  asserted,  that  he  had  conferred  large 
sums  of  money  upon  the  community,  and,  indeed, 
had  expended,  in  liberalities  to  them,  almost  the 
whole  of  his  estate.     He  insisted  upon  the  length 
of  time  which  had  intervened  since  this  donation, 
and  hoped  that  he  should  not  be  compelled,  to 
the  ruin  of  the  remainder  of  his  fortunes1,  to  re- 


»  About  1,1661.  Sterling. 

b  The  translator  has  ventured  to  give  this  sense  to  rdiqu& 
dignitatis.  It  is,  he  confesses,  a  very  uncommon,  perhaps  the 
single  instance  of  the  word  dignitcs  being  used  in  that  meaning  ; 
still,  however,  the  context,  together  with  the  epithet  which  is 
joined  with  it,  will,  he  trusts,  clearly  justify  him.  There  is  no- 
thing in  the  nature  of  this  case  to  make  it  reasonable  to  suppose, 
that  the  dignity  of  Julius  Piso  should  be  impeached  :  as  little  is 
it  to  be  collected  from  any  thing  contained  in  this  letter,  or 
Trajan's  answer.  The  adjective  reliyua  being  added  to  dignitas, 
removes  every  suspicion  of  its  signifying  honor  (as  the  ingenious 
French  translator  Mons.  de  Sacy,  and  his  humble  copier  the 
Italian  Tedeschi,  have  rendered  it)  for  honour  scarce  admits  of 
fractions,  and  there  can  be  no  remainder  after  a  substraction  of 
that  kind.  The  truth,  it  should  seem,  is,  that  as  the  value  of  a 



fund  a  present,  which  had  been  conferred  upon 
him  long  since  in  return  for  many  good  offices  he 
had  done  to  the  city.  For  this  reason,  Sir,  I 
thought  it  necessary  to  suspend  giving  any  judg- 
ment in  this  cause,  till  I  shall  receive  your  direc- 


1  HOUGH  by  my  edicts  I  have  ordained,  that  no 
largesses  shall  be  given  out  of  the  public  money ; 
yet,  that  numberless  private  persons  may  not  be 
disturbed  in  the  secure  possession  of  their  for- 
tunes, those  donations  which  have  been  made  long- 
since,  ought  not  to  be  called  in  question  or  re- 
voked. We  will  not,  therefore,  enquire  into  any- 
thing that  has  been  transacted  in  this  affair  so  long 
ago  as  twenty  years  ;  for  I  would  be  no  less  at- 
tentive to  secure  the  repose  of  every  private  man, 
than  to  preserve  the  treasure  of  every  public  com- 


man's  estate  was,  among  the  Romans,  a  necessary  qualification 
to  render  him  capable  of  the  dignities  of  the  commonwealth, 
our  author,  by  a  figure  of  speech,  puts  dignitas  iorfacultas; 
the  consequent  (to  speak  in  the  language  of  the  grammarians) 
for  the  antecedent. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  317 



THE  Pompeian  law,  Sir,  which  is  observed 
in  Pontus  and  Bithynia,  does  not  direct  that 
any  money  shall  he  paid  into  the  public  chest  by 
those  who  are  elected  into  the  senate  by  the  cen- 
sors for  their  admission.  It  has  however  been 
usual  for  such  members  as  have  been  admitted 
into  those  assemblies,  in  pursuance  of  the  privilege 
which  you  were  pleased  to  grant  to  some  particu- 
lar cities,  of  receiving  above  their  legal  number,  to 
pay  oneb  or  twoc  thousand  denarii  on  their  elec- 
tion. Subsequent  to  your  grant  of  this  privilege, 
the  Proconsul  Anicius  Maximus  ordained  (though 
indeed  his  edict  related  to  some  few  cities  only) 
that  those  who  should  be  elected  by  the  censors 
should  also  pay  into  the-  treasury  a  certain  sum, 
which  varied  in  different  places.  It  remains 
therefore  for  your  consideration,  whether  it  would 
not  be  proper  to  settle  a  certain  fixed  sum  for  each 
member  who  is  elected  into  the  council,  to  pay 
upon  his  admission ;  for  it  well  becomes  you, 
whose  every  word  and  action  deserves  to  be  im- 
mortalized, to  establish  laws  that  shall  endure 
for  ever. 

"About  29).  'and  581.  Ster). 




I  CAN  give  no  general  directions  applicable  to  all 
the  cities  of  Bithynia,  in  relation  to  those  who 
are  elected  members  of  their  respective  councils  ; 
whether  they  shall  pay  an  honorary  fee  upon  their 
admittance,  or  not  It  seems  best  therefore,  in  the 
present  case,  (and  indeed  is  ever  the  safest  way)  to 
leave  each  city  to  exercise  its  own  peculiar  laws. 
I  think,  however,  the  censors  ought  to  set  the 
sum  lower  to  those  who  are  chosen  into  the  senate 
contrary  to  their  inclinations,  than  to  the  rest. 



IHE  Pomponian  law,  Sir,  allows  the  Bithy- 
nians  to  give  the  freedom  of  their  respective 
cities,  to  any  person  they  think  proper,  pro- 
vided he  is  not  a  foreigner,  but  native  of  some 
of  the  cities  of  this  province.  The  same  law  spe- 
cifies the  particular  causes  for  which  the  censors 
may  expel  a  member  the  senate ;  amongst  which, 
that  of  being  a  foreigner  is  not  mentioned.  Cer- 
tain of  the  censors  therefore  have  desired  my 
opinion,  whether  they  ought  to  expel  a  member 
if  he  should  happen  to  be  a  foreigner.  But  I 


BOOKX.  OF  PLINY.  319 

thought  it  necessary  to  receive  your  instructions  in 
this  case;  not  only  because  the  law,  though  it 
forbids  foreigners  to  be  admitted  citizens,  does  not 
direct  {hat  a  senator  shall  be  expelled  for  the  same 
reason,  but  because  I  am  informed,  that  there  is  in 
every  city  several  members  of  their  respective  se- 
nates, who  are  not  natives.  If  therefore  this  clause 
of  the  law,  which  seems  to  be  obsolete  by  long 
custom  to  the  con  trary,  should  be  inforcecl,  many 
cities,  as  well  as  individuals,  will  be  thrown  into 
great  confusion.  I  have  annexed  the  heads  of 
this  law  to  my  letter. 


I  ou  might  well  be  doubtful,  my  dear  Pliny, 
what  reply  to  give  to  the  censors,  who  con- 
sulted you  concerning  their  right  to  elect  into 
the  senate  foreign  citizens,  though  of  the  same 
province.  The  authority  of  law  on  one  side,  and 
long  custom  prevailing  against  it  on  the  other, 
mightjustly  occasion  you  to  hesitate.  The  proper 
measure  in  this  case  will  be,  to  make  no  change  in 
what  is  past,  but  to  suffer  those  senators  who  are 
already  elected,  though  contrary  to  law,  to  keep 
their  seats,  to  whatever  city  they  may  belong ;  and 
in  all  future  elections,  to  pursue  the  direction  of 



the  Pompeian  law :  for,  to  give  it  a  retrospective 
operation,  would  necessarily  introduce  great  con- 



J  T  is  customary  in  this  city  upon  any  person's 
either  taking  the  manly  a  robe ;  solemnizing  his 
marriage  :  entering  upon  the  office  of  magistrate, 
or  dedicating  any  public  work ;  to  invite  the  whole 
senate,  together  with  a  considerable  part  of  the 
commonalty,  to  a  feast,  and  distribute  to  each 
of  the  company  one  b  or  two  denarii.  I  request 
you  to  inform  me,  whether  you  think  proper  this 
ceremony  should  continue  to  be  observed,  or  how 
far  you  approve  of  it.  For  myself,  though  I  am  of 
opinion  that  upon  certain  occasions,  especially 
those  of  public  festivals,  this  kind  of  general  in- 
vitations may  be  permitted ;  yet  when  they  draw 
together  a  thousand  persons,  and  sometimes  more^ 
it  seems  to  be  going  beyond  a  reasonable  number, 
and  has  somewhat  the  appearance  of  factious  lar- 

a  See  vol.  i.  p.  30.  note*. 

b  About  seven-pence  of  our  mortfcy.  The  sum  distributed 
upon  these  occasions,  supposing  the  assembly  to  consist  of  a 
thousand  persons,  and  two  denarii  given  to  each,  would 
amount  to  about  £5S.  sterling. 


BooKX.  OF  PLINY.  321 


IT  is  with  reason  you  apprehend,  that  those 
public  invitations,  which  extend  to  an  immo- 
derate number  of  people,  and  where  the  dole  is 
distributed,  not  singly  to  a  few  acquaintance,  but 
as  it  were  to  whole  collective  fraternities ;  may  be 
turned  to  the  factious  purposes  of  ambition.  But 
I  appointed  you  to  your  present  government  fully 
relying  upon  your  prudence,  and  in  the  persua- 
sion that  you  would  take  proper  measures  for  re- 
gulating the  manners,  and  settling  the  peace  of 
the  province. 



IHE  Athletic  victors,  Sir,  in  the  a  Iselastic 
games,  conceive  that  the  stipend  you  have 
established  for  the  conquerors,  becomes  due  from 
the  day  they  are  crowned :  for,  it  is  not  essential, 


*  Thr-se  games  are  called  Iselastic,  from  the  Greek  word 
eiotXotwu  invehor,  because  the  victors,  drawn  by  white  horses, 
and  wearing  crowns  on  their  heads,  were  conducted  with 
great  pomp  into  their  respective  cities,  which  they  entered 
through  a  breach  in  the  Walls  made  for  that  purpose  ;  inti- 
matinp,  as  Plutarch  observes,  that  a  city  which  produced 
such  brave  and  victorious  citizens,  had  little  occasion  for  the 
defence  of  walls.  \CatameusJ]  They  received  also  annually 
a  certain  honourable  stipend  from  the  public. 


they  pretend,  what  time  they  were  triumphantly 
conducted  into  their  country,  but  when  they  me- 
rited that  honour.  On  the  contrary,  when  I  con- 
sider the  meaning  of  the  term  Iselastic,  I  am 
strongly  inclined  to  think,  that  it  is  intended  the 
stipend  should  commence  from  the  time  of  their 
public  entry.  They  likewise  petition  to  be  allowed 
the  treat  you  give  at  those  combats  which  you 
have  converted  into  Iselastic,  though  their  victo- 
ries were  gained  before  that  change  took  place : 
for,  it  is  but  reasonable,  they  assert,  that  they 
should  receive  the  reward  in  this  instance,  as  they 
are  deprived  of  it  at  those  games  which  have  been 
divested  of  the  honour  of  being  Iselastic,  since 
their  victories.  But  I  am  very  doubtful,  whether 
a  retrospect  should  be  admitted  in  the  case  in 
question,  and  a  reward  given,  to  which  the  claim- 
ants had  no  right  at  the  time  they  obtained  the 
victory.  I  beg  therefore  you  would  be  pleased 
to  direct  my  judgment  in  these  points,  by  explain- 
ing the  intention  of  your  own  benefactions. 

BOOK  X.  OF  PLINY.  323 


1  HE  stipend  appointed  for  the  conqueror  in 
the  Iselastic  games,  ought  not,  I  think,  to  com- 
mence till  he  makes  his  triumphant  entry  into 
his  city ;  nor  are  the  prizes,  at  those  combats  which 
I  have  thought  proper  to  make  Iselastic,  to  be  ex- 
tended to  those  who  were  victors  before  that  alter- 
ation took  place.  With  regard  to  the  plea  which 
these  athletic  combatants  urge,  that  they  ought  to 
receive  the  Iselastic  prize  at  those  combats  which 
have  been  made  Iselastic  subsequent  to  their  con- 
quests, as  they  are  denied  it  in  the  same  case  where 
the  games  have  ceased  to  be  so ;  it  proves  nothing 
in  their  favour :  for,  notwithstanding  any  new 
arrangement  which  has  been  made  relating  to  these 
games,  they  are  not  required  to  return  the  recom- 
peiice  which  they  received  prior  to  such  alteration. 



I  HAVE  hitherto  never,  Sir,  granted  an  order*  for 
post-chaises  to  any  person,  or  upon  any  occa- 
sion but  in  affairs  that  relate  to  your  administra- 
tion. I  find  myself  however  at  present  under  a  sort 
of  necessity  to  break  through  this  fixed  rule.  My 

*  See  Let.  xxiy,  of  this  book,  and  the  note  there. 


wife  having  received  an  accouiit.of  her  b  grandfa- 
ther's death,  and  being  desirous  to  wait  upon  her c 
aunt  with  all  possible  expedition,  I  thought  it 
would  be  unkind  to  deny  her  the  use  of  this  pri- 
vilege ;  as  the  grace  of  so  tender  an  office  consists 
in  the  early  discharge  of  it,  and  as  I  well  knew  a 
journey  which  was  founded  in  filial  piety,  could 
not  fail  of  your  approbation.  I  should  think  my- 
self highly  ungrateful  therefore,  were  I  not  to  ac- 
knowledge, that  among  other  singular  obligations 
which  I  owe  to  your  indulgence,  I  have  this  in 
particular,  that  in  confidence  of  your  favour  I 
ventured  to  do  without  consulting  you,  what 
would  have  been  too  late  had  I  waited  for  your 



You  did  me  justice,  my  dear  Pliny,  by  con- 
fiding in  my  affection  towards  you.  Without 
doubt,  if  you  had  waited  for  my  consent  to  for- 
ward your  wife  in  her  journey  by  means  of  those 
warrants  which  I  have  entrusted  to  your  care,  the 
use  of  them  would  not  have  answered  your  pur- 
pose ;  as  it  was  proper  this  visit  to  her  aunt 
should  have  the  additional  recommendation,  of- 
being  paid  with  all  possible  expedition. 

k  Fabatus.  c  Hi^pulla. 

THE  EM>. 




To  whom  PLINY  addresses  the  foregoing  Letters. 

N.  JJ.  The  Numeral  refers  to  the  BaoJc,  the  Figure  tv 

the  Epistle. 


To  Acilius,  iii.  14. 

—  Albinus,  vi.  10. 

—  Anianus,  ii.  16. 

—  Antoninus,  iv.  3,  18,  v.  10. 

—  Apollinaris,  ii.  9,  v.  6. 

—  Ariston,  v.  3,  viii.  11.. 

—  Arrianus,  i.  2,  ii.  11,  12,  iv.  8,  12,  vi,  2,  viii.  21. 

—  Atrius  Clemens,  i.  10. 

—  Aiigurinus,  ix.  8. 

—  Avitus,  ii.  6. 

To  Bassus,  iv.  23. 

—  Bebius  Hispanus,  i.  24. 


To  Calestrius  Tiro,  i.  1 2. 

—  Calphurnia,  vi.  4,  7.  vii.  5. 

—  Calvina,  ii.  4*. 

—  Calvisius,  ii.  20,  iii.  1,  19,  v.  7,  viii.  2,  ix.  6, 

—  Caninius,  ii.  8,  iii.  7,  vi.  21,  vii.  18,  viii.  4,  ix.  33. 

—  Caninius  llufus,  i.  3. 

—  Capito,  v.  8. 

—  Catilius,  iii.  12. 

—  Catilius  Severus,  i.  22, 

—  Celer,  vii.  17. 

—  Celetina,  see  Pompeia. 

—  Cerealis  ii.  19,  iv.  21, 

—  Clarus,  see  Septitius.. 

—  Clemens,  iv.  2. 

—  Coccia  (and  her  husband  Spurinna)  iii.  10. 

VOL.  II.  Y  To 


To  Colon,  ix.  9. 

—  Corellia  Hispulla,  iii.  3,  iv.  19,  tii.  14,  viii.  11. 

—  Cornelianus,  vi.  31. 

—  Cornelius,  see  Fuscus. 

—  Cornutus,  vii.  21,  31. 

To  Erucius,  i.  16. 


To  Fabatus,  iv.  1.  v.  12,  vi.  12,  30,  vii.  11,  16,  23,32, 
viii.  10. 

—  Fabius,  see  Justus. 

—  Falco  (Pompeius)  i.  23,  iv.  27,  vii.  22,  ix.  15. 

—  Ferox,  vii.  13. 

—  Firmus,  i.  19. 

—  Flaccus,  v.  12. 

—  Fundanus  (Minutius)  i.  9,  iv.  15,  ri.  6. 

—  Fuscus,  vii.  9,  ix.  36,  40, 


To  Callus,  ii.  17,  iv.  17,  viii.  20. 

—  Geminus,  vii.  1,  24,  viii.  5,  22,  ix.  11,  30. 

—  Genialis,  viii.  13. 

—  Genitor  (Julius)  ix.  17. 


To  Hispanus,  vi.  25. 

—  Hispulla,  see  Corellia  Hispulla. 


To  Julius,  see  Genitor. 

—  Junior,  viii.  15,  ix.  12. 

—  Junius,  see  Mauricus. 

—  Justus  (Fabius)  i.  11,  vii.  2. 


To  Lateranus,  ix.  27. 

—  Lepidus,  iv.  7. 

—  Lucinius,  see  Sura. 

—  Lupercus,  ii.  5,  ix.  26. 


To  Macrinus,  ii.  7,  iii.  4,  vii.  6,  10,  viii.  17,  ix.  4. 

—  Macer,  iii.  5,  v.  18,  vi.  24.    % 

—  Mamilianus,  ix.  16,  25. 

—  Marcellinus,  v.  16,  viii.  23. 

— •  Mauricus  (Junius)  i.  14,  ii.  18,  vi.  14,  15. 



To  Maximus,  ik  14,  iii.  2^  20,  iv.  20,  25,  v,  5,  vi.  11,  34, 
vii.  26,  viii.  19,24,  ix.  1,  23. 

—  Minucius,  vii.  12. 

—  Minuthnus,  iii.  9,  iv.  11,  via.  12. 

—  Mimitius,  see  Fundanus. 

—  Montanus,  vii.  29,  viii.  6. 

—  Mustius,  ix.  39. 

To  Naso,  iv.  6. 

—  Nepos,  ii.  3,  iii.  16,  iv.  26,  vi.  19. 


To  Octavius  Rufws,  i.  7,  ii.  10. 
• —  Oppius,  ix.  35. 


To  Paternus,  i.  21,  iv.  14,  viii.  16. 

—  Paulinus,  ii.  2,  iv.  16,  v.  19,  ix.  3,  37, 

—  Pompeia  Celerina,  i.  4. 

—  Pompeius,  see  Falco,  and  Saturninus. 

—  Pontius,  v.  15,  vi.  28,  vii.  4. 

—  Praesens,  vii.  3. 

—  Priscus,  ii.  13,  iii.  21,  vi,  8,  vii.  8,  19. 

—  Proculus,  iii.  15. 


To  Quadratus,  vi.  29,  ix.  13. 

—  Quintiiian,  vi.  32. 


To  Restitutus,  vi.  17. 

—  Romanus,  see  Voconius. 

—  Rufus,  vi.  22,  v.  21,  vii.  25. 

—  Rufinus,  viii.  18. 

—  Rufo,  ix.  19. 

« —  Rusticus,  ix.  29. 

To  Sabinus,  iv.  10,  vi.  18,  ix.  2,18. 

—  Sabinianus,  ix.  21,  24. 

—  Sardus,  ix.  3 1 . 

—  Saturninus  (Pompeius)  i.  3,  v.  9,  vii.  15,  ix.  38. 

—  Scaurus,  v.  13. 

—  Septitius,  i.  1,  vii.  28,  viii.  1. 

—  Septitius  Claurus,  i.  15. 

—  Servianus,  iii.  17,  vi.  26. 

—  Severus,  iii.  6, 18,  iv.  28,  v,  1,  vi.  27,  ix.  22. 


To  Sosius  Senecio,  i.  1 3. 

—  Sossius,  iv.  4. 

—  Sparsus,  iv.  5,  viii.  3. 

—  Spurinna,  iii.  10,  v.  17. 

—  Sura  (Licinius)  iv.  30,  vii.  21. 

—  Suetonius,  see  Tranquil] us. 


To  Tacitus  (Cornelius)  i.  6, '20,   iv.   13,    vi.  9,  16,  20, 
vii.  20,  33,  viii,  7,  ix.  10,  }4. 

—  Tiro,  vi.  1,  22,  ix.  5. 

—  Titianus  (Cornelius)  i,  17,  ix.  32, 

—  Tranquillus,  i.  18,  iii.  8^  v,  2,  ix,  34. 

—  Triarius,  vi.  23. 


To  Valens,  iv.  24. 

—  Valerianus,  ii.  15,  -V.  4,  14. 

—  Venator,  ix.  20. 

—  Verus,  vi.  3. 

—  Voconius  (Romanus)  i,  5,   ii,  1,    iii.  13,   iv.  29, 

vi.  15,  33,  viii.  8,  ix.  7,  28. 
-*-  Ursus,  iv.  9,  v.  20,  vi.  5,  13,  viii,  9. 


Printf-d  by  J.  Wrijht,  St.  John's  S<iuar*, 

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